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The Manneks and Custoub of Old Inverness, - - i 


The Buildings anu Walks op Old Inverness, and tueie 
Associations, -.,...,, 

The Ckasactbrs of Old Inverness, ■ 

The Wakderees of Old Inverness, ■ 

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ji HAT Inverness has greatly advanced in 
many ways, within the last thirty 
years, and is a much wealthier and 
much more important place than of 
old, admits of no denial. Whether there is as much 
genial intercourse amongst those in the same rank of 
life, and as much sympathy and freedom from rivalry 
between the various classes as characterised the old 
town long ago, is a question regarding which there 
may be a diversity of opinion. 

When those old Invernessians who have been for 
many years absent from their native town, return to 
visit it, they are impressed not so much by the 
numerous new streets and buildings, and the general 
appearance of activity and prosperity, as by the decay 
of the old families and the rise of new ones. Many 
representatives of the old county families still reside 
in the neighbourhood of Inverness, but — speaking 
only of the town and the townspeople — among the 
leaders of fashionable society in the Highland Capital 

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there are but few descendants of those who filled the 
same place thirty or forty years ago, few probably 
that have the slightest idea who really ruled Inverness 
society at that period. The descendants of many of 
those old leading families, too, would feel strange and 
bewildered, were they now to return and settle in 

"I do not know a single name," excljumed agentle- 
man, who, after an absence of thirty-five years, lately 
paid a hurried visit to Inverness. He had walked 
along Ardross Terrace, had gone round by Drum- 
mond, and, in fact, visited nearly every suburb of the 
town, inquiring who resided in each handsome villa 
that he passed, or in each old mansion — though of 
these but few now remain — which had once been the 
abode of old friends ; but the names which fell upon 
his ear, in reply, had a strange and unfamiliar sound. 
" There is only one place in Inverness," he added 
sadly, " where I meet at every step with the old 
familiar names, and that place is the Chapel-yard I" 

The habits of the Inverness people have changed 
much more within the last thirty years than in the 
sixty years which went before. Since the opening of 
the Inverness and Nairn railway in 1855, not only 
have a number of strangers come to reside in the 
Highland Capital, causing a spirit of competition to 
arise, and an impetus to be given to progress and 
activity, but their ever<extendtng arrival and settle- 



ment have caused a gradual but complete revolution 
in the ways of what had for many years been a quiet 
exclusive little town, in which the advent of a stranger 
from the South was an event apt to be regarded with 
a degree of trepidation as well as excitement. As 
one new family after another came to settle here, and 
the heads of the old families died in rapid succession, 
new manners and customs, the effect of competition 
and ambition, quickly supplanted the primitive old- 
fashioned ways which had been handed down from 
one generation to another. 

Thirty-five years ago there were only a few classes 
in Inverness, and these were clearly defined, but this 
did not prevent each class from taking a kindly 
interest in the other. One great characteristic of 
Inverness at that time was the small estimation in 
which wealth was held, and the small influence which 
the possession of it involved. This may be accounted 
for by the fact that the leaders of society in the town 
were all people of moderate income. The Inverness 
lawyers and bankers lived mostly in plainly furnished 
houses above their banks and offices, and the shop- 
keepers in still plainer houses above their shops. 

The usual dinner hour was four o'clock, but it was 
changed to five or half-past five when there was a 
party — six o'clock dinners being given only by the 
county families, or those who were considered on the 
same level. Young unmarried people were not often 

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invited out to dinner, but were asked to come to tea 
at seven, and were expected to be found waiting in 
the drawing-room, when the elder ladies left the 
gentlemen seated over their wine. If the gentlemen 
were very long of leaving the dining-room (which was 
often the case when a tray had been brought in with 
materials for toddy — of which the ladies were always 
expected to partake, before leaving), tea and coffee 
were handed round to the visitors who had arrived 
only after dinner, and the young ladies were requested 
to give a little music to hasten the arrival of the 
loiterers in the dining-room. The young people in 
the drawing-room were apt to get very impatient 
when the gentlemen sat long over their toddy and 
port wine, but as these were the days of toasts, their 
patience was often sorely tried. These were the days, 
too, when it was the custom for people to drink wine 
with each other. The host always asked the lady on 
his right hand, and each gentleman asked both the 
lady whom he had taken in to dinner and the one 
seated directly opposite to him, if he might have the 
pleasure of drinking wine with them, and so on, until 
every one had drunk wine with several others. Before 
taking wine with any one, the glass had to be filled 
up anew, though the ladies generally only touched it 
with their lips, after the honour had been requested of 
them more than once or twice. Then both parties 
bowed to each other, the gentlemen often saying. 



" Your very good health," and the lady, " Thank you 
— the same to you ". Latterly, however, it became 
the custom to omit the words, and merely to bow. 

The loud and hearty cheers of the gentlemen over 
their toasts used to reach the drawing-room, and many 
a young lady used to exclaim, " How merry they are ! 
Ah ! I fear we shall have to wait long for our dance ". 
But often if there were any young unmarried men 
among the waiting company — such as Captain Sherv- 
ington, the recruiting officer (who usually wore the 
Highland dress), John Fyvie (the Dean's eldest son), 
and Doctor Wilson (at that time a young, handsome, 
attractive man, much sought after in society) — a 
dance was started even before the company in the 
dining-room had made their appearance. 

These dances were generally kept up until ten or 
eleven o'clock — alternately with songs, sung with taste 
and feeling — and then more toddy, negus for the 
ladies, and such light refreshments as custards, Jellies 
and tartlets were handed round. 

In the case of tea-parties, however (which were 
much more frequent in Inverness than dinners), 
there was always a substantial supper laid out on the 
dining-room table at ten o'clock — a most substantial 
" tea " having also been laid out there and partaken of 
at the primitive hour of half-past six. 

At the tea parties, charades, round games of cards, 
and that old-fashioned game "consequences," generally 

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alternated with the dances and songs, and the enter- 
tainment was kept up till a late hour. The tea-parties 
cost nearly as much as the dinners (for in those days 
three or four courses were considered ample at a dinner 
party — entries being things unknown except at the 
tables of a few of the leaders of fashion), but they were 
much more enjoyable, and were indeed charming when 
enlivened by the fine singing of John Fyvie, Miss Jane 
Chisholm, or the daughters of Doctor Nicol. The 
ballads of Thomas Haynes Bayly were very fashion- 
able at that period, and John Fyvie sang them with 
exquisite taste and feeling, as well as many other 
ballads, the very names of which are unknown to the 
young people of the present day. " Jeannette and 
Jeannot," " I'll hang my harp on a willow tree," " The 
minute gun at sea/'and'Tm going, Jessie,far from thee" 
were among the best songs of the Dean's son. John 
Fyvie's songs and Major Greenwood's wit used to 
make the time fly quickly in several Inverness drawing- 
rooms, where also many a pathetic Scotch or Irish air 
was played by Miss Georgie or Miss Bella Suter,many 
a brilliant waltz or polka by Miss Eliza Munro. 

An invitation given only two or three days before- 
hand was considered quite sufficient for a dinner 
party, and an invitation to a tea party was often given 
only on the previous day. 

Another great institution in Inverness was the 
supper party, to which only gentlemen were invited, 

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although the ladles of the house were always expected 
to appear. Fish, toasted cheese, and porter or ale, 
always formed part of the feast, and songs, speeches 
and anecdotes flowed on in rapid succession as long as 
the party were seated round the table. 

Old Mrs. Denoon, when she lived on Castle Street, 
was famed for her supper parties ; and her son David, 
that courteous and ceremonious gentleman of the old 
school, was, notwithstanding his grave, formal manner, 
at great demand at all the supper parties given in 
Inverness by his old schoolfellows, long after his 
amiable and gentle brother Alick had settledin London. 

Long ago (up to the period of his death in 1838), the 
life of all the supper parties in Inverness was Banker 
Alexander Mackenzie of Woodside, familiarly known 
as " Johnny Cope," from his capital rendering of that 
song, although it was matched by the way in which he 
sang " Let Whig and Tory all agree ". 

It was the habit also for many of the Inverness 
gentlemen to drop in without any invitation, at one 
another's houses at the supper hour, which was usually 
nine o'clock, and have a friendly chat over a tumbler 
of toddy. 

At one time it was the custom to give breakfast 
parties in Inverness, but that practice died out long 
before the supper parties. Miss Annie Grant, Kilmoni- 
vaig, was about the last person in the town that kept 
up the old custom of inviting her friends to breakfast 

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The hour was always nine o'clock, and the tea and 
coffee prepared by Miss Annie's hands, before blind- 
ness had sealed her eyes, and the hot rolls which were 
always laid in readiness on each plate, before the 
guests sat down, were considered unequalled at any 
table in Inverness. 

Of course when the dinner hour was four o'clock, 
there were no such things in Inverness as hot luncheons 
and five o'clock teas, but it was the invariable custom 
to offer wine and cake to every one who called, at 
whatever hour, or from however short a distance they 
might come. In fact no visitor to either parlour or 
kitchen was ever permitted to go away without being 
asked to eat and drink, A lady coming from only 
the next street would have considered the hostess to 
fail strangely in the duties of hospitality if refresh- 
ments were not produced. In most houses, a tray . 
with rich cake and sweet biscuits, and with port and 
sherry (for claret was at that time little used, though 
it was the favourite beverage of an earlier generation), 
was laid on a side table in the drawing-room, eveiy 
forenoon, to be in readiness for any visitors that might 
happen to call. It waB not then thought vulgar to 
press people to eat, or old-fashioned to introduce 
guests to one another. It was the rule then, and not 
the exception, for every gentleman to raise his hat 
entirely from his head, when bowing to a lady, and to 
draw off his glove before shaking hands with her. It 

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was also the custom for every gentleman to offer his 
arm to any lady who might be walking along the 
street with him. 

In those days, when every one was more or less 
hospitable, and the set of fine-looking courtly bankers, 
for which Inverness was at that time noted, vied with 
each other in keeping open house, there was no one 
who dispensed hospitality with a more lavish hand, 
no one who was more generous to all who needed 
help, than Mr. Mackenzie, Ness House {Agent for the 
Bank of Scotland). Not only did his birth and con- 
nections, his singularly aristocratic appearance, and 
exquisite courtesy secure for him the undisputed 
precedence, but he was about the last to maintain 
in Inverness the manners and customs of a former 
generation, and was even in those days considered 
the beau ideal of a Highland gentleman of the olden 
time. Visitors came to Ness House as freely as they 
would come to an hotel. Invitations were not needed, 
for an equally hearty welcome awaited every guest, 
whether invited or uninvited. On the sideboard in 
the dining-room, refreshments stood ready from 
morning to night for all comers, whilst a quaintly- 
shaped whisky bottle, with which " to speed each 
parting guest," was a fixture on the entrance-hall 
table. Any person of note who visited Inverness, 
was sure to bring a letter of introduction to Mr. 
Mackenzie, and then dinners, drives and picnics to 

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Foyers and Kilmorack and the various beautiful 
places around, were sure to follow. Hospital!^ was, 
however, the least distinguishing trait of a noble 
character. His fine, free, foi^iving, though hot 
nature, is not forgotten to this day, especially in 
Kintail, where his granduncle, General Mackenzie 
Fraser, and Lord Seaforth, raised, at their own ex- 
pense, the gallant 78th Highlanders ; and his own 
taith in the Highlanders and strong feelings of clan- 
ship, made him launch in the world with disinterested 
generosity many who thus advanced to fortune through 
his means. 

Mr. Mackenzie was unanimously elected the first 
Provost of Inverness after the Reform Bill had passed, 
and on retiring from office, his townsmen presented 
him with a very valuable piece of plate, whilst they 
urged him to permit them to return him to Parlia- 
ment ; but he was too rooted to his life in the 
Highlands to leave them — even refusing the ap- 
pointment of Governor of the Mauritius (very lucra- 
tive in those days), which was offered in reci^nition 
of his efforts in the Liberal cause. 

When Mr, Mackenzie died suddenly in 1854, hts 
funeral was the greatest that had been known for 
many years. The tenants of the Flowerburn estate 
(of which he had undertaken the management at 
the dying request of his great friend, the grand- 
father of the present Laird), erected a handsome 

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marble tablet to his memoiy in the Cathedral of 

Mrs. Mackenzie, who survived her husband till 1883 
had long left the Highlands, where she had maintained 
the Banker's hospitality with equal individuality; but 
there must be many still in the North who remember 
her high-bred manners and queenly form, and there are 
certainly some there who can testify to the warmth of 
her heart and the constancy of her friendship. Mrs. 
Mackenzie was a lady of cultivated mind and refined 
tastes, an admirable musician, artist, and linguist, at a 
time when such gifts were rare. She had also a great 
amount of quiet huinour, and possessed a laige store 
of amusing anecdotes, which she had the gift of telling 
remarkably well. Her family was an ancient Forfar- 
shire one, the Piersons of Balmadies (the brasses on 
their tombs in the Abbey of Arbroath still show the 
antiquity of the family), but she was born and educated 
in Russia, in which country she ever maintained deep 
interest, whilst entertaining the strongest affection for 
Scotland, where she had passed all her married life. 
Intense love for and appreciation of everything con- 
nected with the Highlands formed one of the chief 
characteristics of this high-bred lady of the old 

It has been alleged that in those days of universal 
hospitality the Inverness people lived in a continual 
whirl of gaiety ; but although there were many little 

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social gatherings, a regular course of party-giving on 
a large scale was kept up by only about seven or 
eight families, who, in several instances, were bound 
together by ties of close and sincere friendship and 
a^ection. Changed as Inverness is now, a faint 
memory lingers there still of the parties given, not 
only at Ness House, but by the two families who 
reigned in succession at Viewmount (those of Doctor 
Munro and Sheriff Colquhoun), and also by the families 
of Banker Mackay and Doctor Nicol — parties as mirth- 
ful as they were brilliant 

But though there was much more private gaiety in 
those days, there were few public balls, few public 
entertainments of any kind. Ladies, in particular, 
may be said to have lived far less in public then than 
they do now. They never sang or played at public 
concerts, collected subscriptions, or became members 
of associations or committees of any kind, whether for 
secular or sacred purposes. 

Christmas was then, more than now, a time for 
hearty, social gatherings. On Christmas and New 
Year's Day people always went in the afternoons to 
see their friends and wish them happiness, and though 
there were no Christmas cards and no decorating of 
churches, it was the custom at that season to make 
little gifls for all one's friends, relations, and servants 
which cost little money, but a great deal of labour, 
and were, on the latter account, highly valued. 



For four or five days before Christmas, boys, who 
were called "BuUiegeizers" — whatever that may mean 
— went round every night at seven or eight o'clock 
singing loudly at the street doors, and of course ex- 
pecting pennies. The arrival of these boys outside 
was always a source of delight to the children within, 
for it reminded them that Christmas was close at 

On Christmas Eve a great packing of baskets with 
tea and sugar, currant loaves, and pieces of meat, 
for favourite retainers and pensioners, went on in 
many households, at which the children were not 
only permitted to assist, but were allowed to accom- 
pany a servant with the baskets to the houses of the 
various recipients, in order that they might acquire a 
personal interest in those whom their parents be- 

On Christmas morning in most households the 
servants were sent for to the dining-room to drink the 
health of their master and mistress, and receive a 
piece of shortbread, and some little gifts worked for 
them by the children's own hands; and during break- 
fast a message often came from the kitchen that some 
of the pet beggars of the family — such as Walter Sim 
and " Water Lexy " — had " called to wish every one a 
merry Christmas," which, of course, was the signal for 
some eager child to run down stairs with a shilling for 
each of the grateful visitors. 

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Thus, in many homes in Inverness in those days, 
Christmas was a day of more satisfying happiness 
for the children than it is at present, when they are 
surfeited with Christmas cards and costly gifts. In 
those days toys and books were much more expensive 
than they are now, and children did not get so many 
of them : therefore they dearly prized the few they did 
get. They were not loaded on their birthdays 
with jewellery and all manner of splendid presents 
from all their relations and acquaintances, but were 
quite satisfied with a sixpenny or shilling book from 
their parents, and no remembrance from any one else, 
except, perhaps, a pen-wiper or pin-cushion from some 
kind aunt A shilling book with one of Miss Edge- 
worth's or Mrs. Hofland's tales^-carefully written in 
excellent English — was more highly prized than a five 
shilling book is by any child now, and even a penny 
book (with the history of " Cinderella " or " Beauty 
and the Beast," "The Yellow Dwarf" or "The In- 
visible Prince"), or a penny toy such as a tin kettle or 
saucepan, could bestow a degree of happiness which 
children in the same rank of life could not possibly 
realise at the present day. Many a little story t)ook 
did the kind bookseller " Kenny Douglas " bestow on the 
children of his customers at Christmas or New Year 
(the writer remembers receiving a highly-prized 
copy of "The Cottagers of Glenbumie," bound in 
scarlet and gold, from him as a Christmas gift) ; many 



a little toy did " Johnny Suter " present to his special 
favourites among the children who flocked to his little 
shop in the " Black Vennel," when it was the only toy 
shop in Inverness. 

Children went to parties at one anothefs houses 
then in nothing smarter than their Sunday clothes. 
A tucked soft muslin white frock and blue or tartan 
sash were considered the height of full dress for a little 
girl, and fit to be worn only at a very grand party 
indeed. A fine French merino or printed delaine with 
a crimped frill round the throat (and no jewellery 
except a necklace), was the usual attire. Grown-up 
young ladies seldom wore dresses of costlier material 
than muslin, tarlatane or barege, at their parties, and 
were not ashamed to be seen in the same garb at 
several successive entertainments. On their shoulders 
they wore a "berthe" of black or white lace, a most 
becoming article of dress, which looked especially 
pretty on a pink tarlatane or soft, pale-blue barfege. 
The elder ladies wore long floating scarfs. Sham 
jewellery was never worn by any lady then ; what 
appeared to be silver or gold really was silver or gold. 
The necklets and huge lockets of the present day were 
unknown then, but the usual ornament for a young 
lady in evening dress was a necklace of coral, pearls 
or amber, or a band of black velvet round the throat 
fastened by a tiny brooch ; and for an older lady one 
of these long pretty gold chains which went round the 



neck and descended to the waist Every married lady 
— ^however young — wore a cap, which covered the ears, 
and from which long broad ribbons fell over the 
shoulders. The ears, indeed, were always covered in 
the case of any female, at whatever age. No fringes 
were ever seen, but the hair was divided in the middle 
and descended on each side of the cheek in long braids 
or ringlets, and was coiled behind and fastened with 3 
tortoiseshell comb — small side-combs of tortoiseshell 
being often used to keep the ringlets in front from 
coming too much forward. 

The fashions did not change then so often as they 
do now. The white or pale-blue drawn silk bonnets 
of one summer — with their close " baby fronts " of 
tulle, with little loops of coloured velvet all round — 
could always be laid aside to come out unaltered for 
the next; and the dark-blue velvet winter bonnets 
could be treated in the same way and kept in readiness 
till that season should come round again. The pelisses 
of growing girls — often made of black silk in summer 
and dark-green merino (trimmed with velvet of the 
same shade), in winter — required only to be lengthened 
and let out a little, a year after they had been bought 

Gentlemen wore stocks and high shirt collars, and 
appeared on the streets in swallow-tails, white trousers 
and white waistcoats. A few old country " bodachs " 
might still be seen in the knee-breeches, long stockings, 
buckled shoes, and large brass buttons, which were all 

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the fashion some twenty years previously. Gentlemen 
wore their hair much longer than at present, sometimes 
almost covering the ear, and descending to the back 
of the neck ; but shaving was then universally practised 
— only officers in the army ever wearing a moustache. 

Elderly ladies wore reticules of black velvet or black 
embroidered satin attached to their sides when they 
went out shopping or calling — ladies who twenty 
years before had gone to church in white silk stock- 
ings, sandalled slippers of black satin or prunella, 
dresses of soft white muslin tucked to the waist, and 
black silk spencers. 

Servant girls in Inverness were content to go to 
church in gowns of printed cotton which had cost only 
threepence or fourpence a yard, in coarse straw bonnets 
whose trimming consisted of a deep curtain and a 
strap of ribbon across the top, and in large tartan 
shawls. Tartan shawls and "filled plaids" were worn 
by females of all classes and all ages. Little girls of 
twelve years old might be seen in three-cornered 
shawls reaching to their feet, and in large bonnets — 
for hats were not in fashion then — which not only 
shrouded their faces, but made them appear like little 
old women. 

There was a very pretty fashion then — that of lai^ 
fur tippets which descended below the waist, and were 
decidedly more becoming than the little fur capes of 
the present day. Deep fur cuifs were worn, fur 

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" victorines " the ends of which descended to the waist, 
and fur " boas " of such a length as often to touch the 
ground. Knitted "polka jackets" also were worn 
in-doors in winter, and out-of-doors under a shawl. In 
summer, silk " shades," which were anything but 
becoming, were fastened in front of the bonnet and 
tied with strings under the chin. Veils too were 
fastened onwith strings,and were so long as to descend 
nearly to the waist 

Ladies did not have such a number and variety 
of dresses then, but those they had were of very 
much better materials, fitted to stand tear and 
wear, and to be handed down to succeeding genera- 

The country girls did not then ape the fashions of 
their superiors in rank, but went to church with only 
a snood of ribbon, instead of a bonnet, on their hair. 
The writer remembers seeing the daughters of many 
well-to-do farmers passing down Academy Street 
every Sunday to the Free East Church, with no 
covering on their heads. There were two beautiful 
girls in particular, whose rich auburn hair, guiltless of 
hat or bonnet, imparted a refinement to their ap- 
pearance which would have been entirely destroyed 
if their heads had been surmounted by any imitation 
of the finery of their superiors. If any of the country 
girls had a distance to walk they used to carry their 
shoes and white cotton stockings in one hand (to be 



put on when they approached their journey's end), and 
in the other a bible, wrapped in a white pocket hand- 
kerchief, and with a piece of mint or southernwood 
between the leaves. When one of them married — 
however young she might be — she always donned the 
expensive and elaborate "mutch," the married woman's 

It was a pretty sight to see the country girls 
flocking into Inverness on a Martinmas Market day, 
each with a bright tartan shawl, fastened by a large 
silver brooch generally a double heart), which had 
descended from one generation to another ; while 
their faces beamed with the expectation of " fairings " 
from their favourite " lads ". It was a picturesque 
sight also to see the "wives" in mutches, beneath 
which shone broad ribbons of every hue, standing 
beside their carts, which extended from one end of 
Academy Street to the other. Ladies of the best 
position did not think it beneath their dignity to go 
in and out among the carts, examining the butter 
and cheese, while their children, under a servant's 
care, delighted in wandering among the little stalls, 
arranged on each side of High Street, and in buying 
fairings, of which the most prized was generally a 
little chum, in which they could make real butter. 
High Street and Academy Street used to be even 
more densely packed on a Martinmas Market day 
than they are now, and the Academy boys used to 

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amuse themselves by pinning the gowns of the 
country women tt^ther. 

Every Tuesday and Friday the country women 
sold their butter, eggs, and fowls on the Exchange — 
the butter at tenpence the pound, the eggs at four- 
pence or sixpence the dozen, and the fowls at tenpence 
each. Potatoes were sold round the lamp-post in the 
open space in front of the old Methodist Chapel, and 
there was a weighing-machine there, where not only 
potatoes but hay and coals and various other articles 
were weighed. 

Before the opening of the former Fish-market 
place on Academy Street, there was a temporary one 
in a court opening from Petty Street ; and at that 
time a dozen haddocks could be had for threepence 
or fourpence, and a dozen herrings for a penny, or 
indeed even for a halfpenny, if a herring boat hap- 
pened to be at the Shore. A pennyworth of herrings, 
during the stay of a boat, often maintained a poor 
family for two days, forming, together with a few 
potatoes, their breakfast, dinner, and supper. 

At an earlier period the Fish-market was held in a 
walled-in space, where the Post-office now stands ; 
and among the old women employed to carry fish 
for the customers, was a big, stout character of the 
name of Tibby Main, who also kept a little table on 
High Street, close to the Market-place, where she 
every day sold vegetables of different kinds, and also 



dulse and shell-fish. There were two similar tables 
on the pavement at the top of Academy Street, kept 
by two other old women, one of whom, a dwarf named 
"Wee Jenny," was as well-known a character as Tibbie 
Main. Except on market days, when the country 
gardeners brought supplies into the town for sale, 
the only places where v^etables, such as cabbages, 
cauliflowers, carrots or turnips could be obtained, 
were the tables of these old women. 

Up to a much later date it was a practice for poor 
old women to sit with a basket of dulse, whelks or 
mussels, at the end of the Bridge or at the Post-office 
steps, in the hope of tempting children coming from 
school to invest their halfpennies. 

On Hallowe'en and the previous evening, eight or 
nine old women from the country — sometimes from 
as great a distance as Glenmoriston or Kintail — used 
to sit on the Exchange with large bags of hazel nuts 
for sale, which they had carried all the way to Inver- 
ness on their backs. 

Hallowe'en parties were a great institution in 
Inverness in those days among the upper and middle 
classes. Nuts were burnt, apples were ducked for, 
and fortunes were read by means of the white of an 
egg, dropped in a glass of water, and by means of 
three plates, one filled with clear water, one with dirty 
water or milk, and the third empty. The persons 
whose fortune had to be tried by the plates were blind- 



folded, and dipped their hands at random into one of 
them. The plate of clear water signified a young 
bride or bridegroom, the milk or dirty water denoted 
marriage with a widow or widower, while the empty 
plate doomed to a life of celibacy. The forms taken 
by the white of an egg in the glass of clear water 
were sometimes very beautiful, and denoted mountains, 
ships at sea, or heaps of gold, according to the fancy 
of the spaewife, who was generally employed to read 
the fortunes of the young people. All the diversions 
generally took place in the kitchen, for the ducking 
for apples involved a great deal of splashing of water, 
and, indeed, none of the amusements were suitable 
for a drawing-room. Among the lower classes there 
were many Hallowe'en freaks, which involved going 
out in disguise along the streets, and, indeed, many 
young people in the upper classes used to join in these 
frolics. There was, in fact, no house in Inverness, 
high or low, where Hallowe'en was not kept 

Hogmanay parties were held by all classes, at which 
the New Year was taken in by all present joining 
hands round the supper table and singing " Auld 
Lang Syne ". 

The first of April, or "gowking day," was also never 
forgotten by any class. There was a young lady in 
Inverness forty years ago (long since a grandmother), 
who was proverbial for fun and frolic, but was so good 
humoured that no one could long remain offended 



with her. On the morning of one "gowking day" 
she went to the house of a physician in Inverness, and 
told him to huny to her uncle's house, as a bone had 
stuck in the cook's throat while she was eating fish 
for breakfast, and almost suffocated her. She then 
went to an upholsterer, noted for his corpulence and 
unwieldiness, and desired him to go to the house of a 
lady, residing nearly two miles out of town, with 
four drawing-room chairs, which she had received 
special orders that he himself was to carry, two on 
each arm, and not to send any subordinate with them. 
It was a very warm day, and the upholsterer was a 
person who got very easily heated, but the lady from 
whom the order was sent was considered too impor- 
tant a customer to be disobeyed. Imagine his dismay 
when he arrived at the end of his long walk and dis- 
covered that he had never been sent for ! The young 
lady who had made him an April fool crowned her 
exploits by inviting a party of nine or ten gentlemen 
to supper at eight o'clock that evening with an elderly 
bachelor, whom they found on their arrival seated in 
an old dressing-gown and slippers over his parlour fire, 
with no preparations for visitors, and who was most 
indignant when he found out the trick which had been 
played on him. Banker Wilson, who was one of the 
unexpected guests, good-naturedly brought all the 
others with him to his own house, where they had a 
good laugh over an excellent supper, none joining 

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more heartily in the merriment than Doctor Jamie- 
son, whose ring at the door of the house where he had 
been summoned in the morning, had been answered 
by the victim of the supposed fish bone ! 

Another young lady in Inverness at that period 
gained two bets, one by going out to a dinner party 
in a wheelbarrow, and another by wading across the 
river Ness ! 

The Inverness young ladies at that time, however, 
were generally more romantic and sentimental than 
frolicsome. They were addicted to hero-worship, 
adored the memory of Prince Charlie, sang Jacobite 
songs, and wrote verses in each other's albums, which 
lay on the drawing-room centre tables, along with 
annuals bound tn crimson silk and gold. 

What simple pleasures satisfied the youth of those 
days, when reverence for parents and for people 
advanced in life had not gone out of fashion, and 
when girls had not learnt to talk slangl Young people 
were kept more in the background then, the necessity 
of courtesy was more impressed on them, and they 
were not allowed to form so many opinions of their 
own, or to speak much in the presence of their elders. 
They were not, in fact, so entirely under the delusion 
that the world had been formed for them alone. 
Lawn tennis parties were unknown in those days. A 
long country walk in the daytime, or a game at baga- 
telle, draughts, or battledoor and shuttlecock in the 

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evening, was considered ample relaxation for boys and 
girls in their teens ; but little pic-nics were much in 
vc^e on Saturdays to such places as Tomnahurich, 
Torvean, Craig Phadraig, the " Primrose Mound " 
above Clachnaharry, the "General's Well" near Bught, 
and the " Hut of Health " at Millbum. No mode of 
conveyance except their own feet was needed to con- 
vey the young people to their destination, and one 
small basket was generally able to hold all the eat- 
ables required. Tomnahurich was a very favourite 
spot, for no cemetery was in prospect there at that 

Such simple pleasures made the summer pass plea- 
santly for the rising generation of " Old Inverness ". 
Their highest dissipation was when Ord's circus, or 
Anderson, the " Wizard of the North," came to pay 
the Highlands a visit A world of enchantment was 
then indeed opened to them, beside which the Joys of 
their Saturday pic-nics and little tea parties grew dim. 

The older people had their pic-nics also to such 
places as the Falls of Foyers or Kilmorack, or to 
Urquhart Castle; and these pic-nics used to be very 
much looked forward to, as they were the only thin^ 
in the form of excursions that could be had in those 
days, the custom of cheap fares by steamer not having 
then been introduced. The pic-nics of old were gone 
through in a leisurely style, but were sometimes jovial 
to a high degree. 



We remember hearing of one on the return from 
which the carriage that took the lead belonged to a 
gentleman who was a very good judge of a horse, and 
always had a very pretty pair on which he rather 
prided himself Another carriage seemed inclined to 
pass this one, upon which the owner of the latter 
(which was open), became very indignant, and standing 
up, waved his umbrella frantically in the air, and then 
pointed it at the obnoxious driver, as if it were a gun, 
shouting out at the pitch of his voice " If you dare 
approach an inch nearer, I'll shoot you ". The driver 
(who, along with the other servants, had followed the 
example of the gentlemen in partaking of too much 
wine or whisky), imagined that he was really in danger 
of being shot, and did not venture to pursue his attempt 
of passing the foremost carriage, which was quite as 
well, as the umbrella would certainly have been hurled 
at his head, the horses might have taken fright, and a 
serious accident might have ensued. 

The same genial and hospitable gentleman who was 
the hero of the episode of the umbrella, had been for 
so many years without drinking cold water that he 
had quite forgotten the taste of it. On one occasion 
he did not feel well, and intended taking a dose of 
medicine in the morning, so his wife placed it, along 
with a tumbler of water (to take away the taste), at the 
side of his bed, to be in readiness for the morning. 
When the lady got up, she perceived that her husband 



had not taken his medicine, and challenged him about 
it, when he exclaimed, " Not taken my medicine ! To be 
sure I have, every drop of it ! " and pointed triumph- 
antly to the empty tumbler, which he had drained, in 
the belief that he had performed a most praiseworthy 
action by swallowing a large quantity of medicine. 

In one respect Inverness has altered for the better. 
It was at one time (not a very old date), the custom 
for several idle young men of the upper classes to 
accost with impertinence and follow about the streets 
or roads, young girls of whatever rank in society — 
gentlewomen or maidservants — they might be, and 
lay wagers beforehand as to the amount of annoy- 
ance to which they could subject them. There was 
also a regiment at Fort-George about forty years 
ago, of which several of the officers were notorious for 
their impertinence to ladies. They used to sit on the 
parapet of the old Stone Bridge, making remarks on 
every one who passed, and sometimes following pretty 
girls to the doors of their own homes. Even less than 
thirty years ago, there were wild young militia officers 
and others who used to go about at night taking the 
knockers off" doors, hurling coaches into the river, 
and disturbing the slumbers of the inhabitants gene- 
rally. Such customs as those have long since happily 
died out. Many anecdotes might be related — were 
there space — of the escapades which sometimes took 
place in Old Inverness. There was one gentleman of 



high position and birth, whose estates lay in a neigh- 
bouring county, and who was often in the habit of 
paying Inverness a visit, and quite as often of getting 
into scrapes while there. On one occasion he was 
invited to the marriage of a friend's daughter in Inver- 
ness, and arriving in the town on the previous evening, 
got into a street row, and, not being known to the 
police, was locked into the " Black Hole ". He con- 
trived to get a pencilled slip of paper conveyed to the 
friend whose daughter was to be married, telling him 
the predicament he was placed in, and begging him to 
come to his rescue, which favour was speedily granted, 
and the prisoner was liberated. Next day he dined 
with the gentleman who had effected his liberation, 
and on taking leave, the latter spoke most seriously 
to him, beting him to try to behave himself better in 
future, for his conduct had been disgraceful, and was 
only bringing a scandal on himself and his family. 
The offender seemed very contrite and exclaimed, " I 
promise you, my dear fellow, this will never happen 
again. You shall see that I will behave myself better 
in future. Here is my hand upon it," The guest 
departed, and was not far from the door when he 
knocked down a man for no other reason than that he 
stood in his way and obstructed the path. The friend 
with whom this fiery gentleman had dined, being not 
far away, saw what had happened, and pacified the 
man by making the offender give him hush-money. 



The usual hour for a " constitutional " walk in 
Inverness was three o'clock, for of course, as almost 
all the townspeople lived above their offices and 
shops, and could not otherwise obtain fresh air, 
the daily walk was quite an institution. At three 
o'clock, or a little earlier, many gentlemen might 
be seen issuing from their doors, accompanied by 
their wives and daughters — Banker Wilson being 
one who seldom missed his daily promenade — and 
it was a source of pleasure to guess what friends one 
might meet, difficult for those to realise who now 
always meet the same faces on the same road as they 
go to or return from town. 

Sometimes, in summer, these walks were taken at 
a later hour, but not by the lawyers. Almost all of 
them took a rest at home between dinner and tea, 
and then returned to their offices from tea time till 
supper time — a custom which is now impossible, owii^ 
to late dinners and villas out of town. The Millbum 
Road was always a favourite resort for the afternoon 
walk, in order that the pretty sight might be obtained 
of the Star Coach dashing along for Elgin, drawn by 
four horses, while the guard behind, in his scarlet 
coat, blew his bugle loudly and merrily. The Star 
returned each forenoon at about twelve o'clock. The 
fare to Elgin was 16s, inside, and los. 6d, out- 

Very many years before that date, it was the custom 



of old Mr. Fraser — better known as " Old Stoney- 
field " — to stand at the edge of the hill on which his 
residence stood, to watch a return coach which passed 
about four o'clock, to see whether any acquaintance 
was among the passengers, whom he might hail and 
bring home to dinner ; and great was his delight when 
he could espy some familiar face. An extra plate 
and knife and fork were always laid in readiness on 
his dining-table just before the coach passed, though 
Mrs. Fraser never had the least idea who the expected 
guest might be. 

The Star Coach, on its way from Inverness, left 
the high road, just below Castle Stewart, and took 
the cross road which went round by Campbelltown. 
It also returned by the same route. The Defiance 
Coach for Aberdeen started from Inverness every 
morning at six, and the inspiriting notes of its bugle 
woke many a dreamer from his slumbers at that 
hour. It was drawn by four grey horses, and formed 
a very enlivening sight, as it dashed into Inverness 
on the return journey at about half-past six in the 
evening. These coaches were always ready to stop 
and pick up any passenger by the way, for a short 
journey. One could get six miles for a shilling as 
outside passenger, and for eighteenpence inside. The 
inside was anything but comfortable, particularly 
if closely packed. The Defiance was perhaps more 
roomy than the Star, and it kept to the main road 

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all the way. The fare inside to Aberdeen was £2, 
and £1 2s. outside. 

There was also a mail coach to Edinbui^h by the 
Perth Road, which turns off from the Millbum Road, 
just beside the Raigmore Lodge. It left Inverness 
every evening at a quarter to seven o'clock, and the 
return coach arrived from the south at 6 A.M. The 
fare to Edinburgh was £2 $s. inside, and 32s. outside. 
It was drawn by four horses, just like the Defiance, 
and had a guard in scarlet livery like both the De- 
fiance and the Star, Seats were generally engaged 
on the previous day, if the journey was to be a long 
one, so that the guard had a good idea of how many 
passengers might be expected. The Aberdeen Mail 
started every afternoon at two o'clock, and the 
return coach arrived every evening at half-past seven. 
There were four horses, and the fare inside was £2, 
and outside 21s. The North Mail for Thurso, 
by Beauly, Dingwall, Tain, and Dornoch, started 
every morning at a quarter past six o'clock, and 
the return coach reached Inverness at 5 P.M., in 
time to join the Perth Mail. There were four horses, 
and the fare inside was £2 lis. 6d., and outside, 
£1 r7s. 6d. ; and to Tain, 20s. and 14s. The 
Duke of Wellington — a day stJ^e-coach, four horses, 
in connection with the Highland or Perth Mail — 
left Inveniess every morning from April to the end 
of November, at six o'clock A.M., and arrived from 



Perth at 6 p.m. Fares — inside, 35s., outside, 255. In 
summer, the Caberfeigh^stage-coach, two horses — 
left every day at three o'clock for Dingwall (via 
Kesiock Ferry) and Strathpeffer, and reached the 
Spa Hotel there at 6 p.m, It left Strathpeffer at 
eight o'clock every morning, and arrived in Inverness 
at II A,M. Fares — inside, lOs., outside, 6s. The 
Duke of Wellington for Tain, started at 6 A.M,, and 
from Tain at 3 P.M. During great part of the year, 
there were thus eight coaches starting daily from 
Inverness. The coach which went to Perth, in con- 
nection with the Highland or Perth Mail, before the 
time of the Duke of Wellington, was named the Prince 
of Wales. 

In an interesting little book called " A History and 
Description of the Town of Inverness" [1846], by the 
late George Cameron, stationer, Glasgow (who was a 
native of Inverness and had served his apprenticeship 
there), mention is made of two other coaches which 
for some time started from Inverness every day. 
One of these was the " Marquis of Breadalbane," 
which went to Gla^ow by Fort-Augustus, Fort- 
William, Glencoe, Loch Lomond, and Dumbarton, 
from the beginning of June to the end of October, 
leaving Inverness every morning at eight o'clock, 
while the return coach arrived there every evening 
at five. The fares throughout were £2 inside, and 
£1 los. outside. The other coach was the Union, 

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which went every day during the summer months to 
Nairn by Culloden Moor, Croy, Clephanton, and 
Cawdor, leaving Inverness at three o'clock. 

In 1836 the coach to Perth left Inverness only on 
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, returning there 
on the intervening days ; so that the next few years 
had produced a vast improvement, for the many daily 
coaches starting from Inverness were all in existence 
a year or two later. The " Marquis of Breadalbane" 
was first started in 1843, during the summer months, 
arriving every alternate evening and departing next 
morning. The little bock from which we have last 
quoted, says, "In 1845 and 1846, from the beginning 
of June to the end of October, this conveyance ran 
daily from Inverness to Glasgow. An application 
was made by the spirited proprietor for the carrying 
of the mails along the road, which, if obtained, would 
have enabled him to keep up the communication 
throughout the year ; but from some cause or other, 
not properly explained we believe, the application 
was unsuccessful." 

There was one Ross-shire proprietor who never 
liked to be hurried or put out of his way, and on one 
occasion when going from Inverness to Edinburgh 
by the mail coach at night, he was very late, having 
sat too long over his second tumbler of punch after 
supper. His friends were afraid of his losing the 
coach, but all they could do to urge him to make 



haste was of no avail. He did not choose to huny 
his footsteps, even after the horn had been frantically 
blown, not only for the second time, but actually for 
the third time, but walked all the slower, and shouted 

out, " Blow away, and be d d to you," upon which 

the guard, recc^nising him, said, " Oh 1 it's M , we 

must just wait for him a little". 

The first public coach — the Caledonian — com- 
menced to run between Inverness and Perth in 1806, 
through the enterprise of the writer's grandfather, 
Mr. Peter Anderson, solicitor, and the journey oc- 
cupied 2J days. Previously, the journey to Edin- 
burgh could not be performed in less than a week, 
and was generally thought an occasion for making 
one's will As postage was very expensive at the 
time the Caledonian was started, the Invernessians 
used to watch opportunities of sending letters by any 
friends who might be going south by the coach. It 
was a usual occurrence for Inverness people to send 
messages to one another, intimating that Mr. So-and- 
So was going next day by coach, and would take 
charge of a letter if it could be ready in time. And 
the letters of tAaf time must have been really well 
worth receiving. They were carefully and closely 
written on very lai^e sheets of paper, and were filled, 
not merely with local news, but with criticisms on 
books and reflections on various subjects. Often the 
writing of one of these epistles occupied nearly a 



week, a fresh page being added each day, while 
waiting an opportunity to get it sent by coach. 
There were no envelopes then, and the large sheets 
were carefully and curiously folded and fastened with 
a wafer. Even little more than thirty years ago, 
pretty coloured wafers or sealing wax were in general 
use instead of adhesive envelopes. A box of fancy 
wafers and a coloured wax taper were indispensable 
requirements for a lady's writing desk. 

The ladies' shopping thirty years ago differed very 
much from what it is at present. The old-fashioned 
shopkeepers of that period always expected a cordial 
chat with their customers across the counter, and 
maintained the most friendly interest in the faniiilies 
of the professional classes. They liked to hear how 
the children's lessons progressed, and they rejoiced at 
every marriage, and mourned at every death. Mr. 
Alexander Forbes, chemist on Castle Street, was a 
fine specimen of the higher class of Inverness shop- 
keepers. He was a gentleman of learning, refinement, 
and courtesy, whose friendship it was a privilege to 
possess, for his conversation could not fail to elevate 
the tone of one's mind. His sister, Miss Hannah 
Forbes, a charming and cultivated woman, was by 
many people considered singular, because she never 
wore a dress of any texture except merino, or of any 
colour except brown or grey. Her reason for this 
was that she gave away all her cast-off clothes to the 

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poor, and considered that any costlier material or any 
gayer tints might be unsuitable and useless for them. 

Another worthy specimen of the Inverness shop- 
keepers was Mr, Donald Fraser, the draper, who was 
generally known as " Donald Soft," to distinguish him 
from his neighbour and namesake on High Street 
Mr. Donald Fraser, the ironmonger. The latter went 
by the name of " Donald Iron," while his brother, 
who was in partnership with him, was known as 
" Thomas Steel ". Well does the writer remember, 
when a very young child, clambering up on a high 
chair in the old shop on High Street, to be patted on 
the head by gentle Mr. " Donald Soft," and to recount 
to him the conquest of a new rule in arithmetic, or 
the history of a trip to Strathpeffer or Nairn. 

What a pleasant place to pass half-an-hour in was 
the china shop of Mrs. Hunter on Inglis Street ! It 
was filled with elegant dainty ornaments ; and Mrs. 
Hunter herself, with her pretty, delicately-cut features, 
framed in her silver hair and black bonnet, always 
formed a perfect picture, whether doing the honours 
of her shop, or seated in St John's Church, sur- 
rounded by her handsome talented family. 

Then there was old Mr. Smith, the bookseller 
(father of the late Mr. William Smith, Castle Street), 
on the site of whose little shop on High Street the 
Young Men's Christian Association Buildings now 
stand. Mr. Smith was a handsome, white-haired, 

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gentlemanly man, with a most courteous and digni- 
fied manner. His shop and that of Mr. Kenneth 
Douglas, bookseller (on the opposite side of the 
street), familiarly known as " Kenny Douglas," and 
who attracted numbers to his shop by his jokes, 
repartees and anecdotes, formed, along with the 
Exchange, the three favourite places of rendezvous 
for a band of gentlemen without any profession or 
occupation, who met regularly every afternoon to 
discuss the news and take note of the passers-by. 
Among them were the Laird of Culduthel, the Laird 
of Inshes, Doctor Hugh Fraser, and Mr. Charles 
Lamont Robertson (commonly known as " Dandy 
Charlie " on account of his finical neatness). When 
a group of these gentlemen stood on the Exchange, 
it was possible to make a circuit and avoid them, but 
when they stood at the door of either of the two 
booksellers' shops, it required no small courage for 
lady customers to pass through and run the risk of 
hearing their personal remarks. 

The four above-mentioned gentlemen were also 
fond of frequenting the shops of Slorah, the grocer 
and tobacconist, and of Tait, the barber and per- 
fumer, both of which were situated on Church Street 
On Sundays they generally took their stand within 
the gate of the old High Church and made their 
remarks on each lady who passed through. 

At an earlier date "The Grocery" on High Street 

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was the favourite meeting-place of the Inverness 
gentlemen, and among them might always be seen 
the form of old Doctor Robertson of Aultnaskiah, 
who has been described to the writer as a gentleman 
of singularly refined appearance, courteous manners, 
and amiable disposition. 

The Inverness people were fond of bestowing nick- 
names on their shopkeepers. Long ago there was a 
" Snuify Willie," who sold snuff on Bridge Street, 
" Skelpan Sandy," an ironmonger on the Exchange, 
and " Kenny A'things," who had a shop on High 
Street for ironmongery, drapery, and all sorts of 
things, and who when asked if he sold such and such 
articles, always replied, " I sell a' things, I sell a' 
things ". 

The shop of Mr. Mackenzie, the confectioner on 
Castle Street (known as "Jamie Sweetie"), was a 
favourite resort for ladies thirty-five years aga Mr, 
Mackenzie was the only confectioner in Inverness 
until the time of the " Peacock ". Ready-made cakes 
were never to be obtained in his shop. They had 
always to be ordered beforehand, and pastry for 
private djnners and suppers had to be manufactured 
by private cooks at home. It was considered quite 
an era in Inverness, when, on the " Peacock " being 
established on High Street, it was ascertained that 
pies and tarts might be ordered there for any private 
entertainment " Jamie Sweetie's " cakes and con- 



fections, however, were very gocxJ, and he was very 
liberal to the children of his customers. 

His wife was a lady by birth and education, and 
their only daughter, Naomi, was a singularly interest- 
ing little girl. The Mackenzies went to America 
while Naomi was yet a child, and from the time they 
sailed, her history was so romantic that it might form 
the subject of a novel. 

With the old-fashioned shopkeepers has died out 
the race of old servants. Long ago servants did not 
care for changes, but often remained twenty or thirty 
years in one place, identifying themselves with the 
interests of the families they served, and having a 
deep interest shown in them by their mistresses, who 
treated them as friends, and submitted to hearing 
them speak their minds very plainly. The old ser- 
vants of those days were usually designated by the 
surnames of the families that employed them. The 
old housekeepers and nurses formed a peculiar race 
by themselves, privileged above all other servants to 
speak out their minds and domineer, but of devoted 
fidelity, and more attached to the families they served 
than to their own relatives. 

A characteristic specimen of this class was a quaint, 
active little woman, who filled the post of housekeeper 
successively in the families of many of the Highland 
lairds, including Mr. Grant of Glenmoriston, and 
Cluny Macpherson, and who, at one time, even 

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ventured to cross the Border to man^e the esta- 
blishment of an English gentleman. By the ladies in 
the houses where she served, she was often designated 
by the name of " Rossle," but from children and ser- 
vants she was very punctilious as to receiving her 
title of "Miss Ross". The first situation "Rossie" 
ever obtained was retained by her for seven years, 
and in it she filled the various posts of housekeeper, 
nursery-governess, and sempstress, and laid herself 
out more eagerly and gladly than perhaps any woman 
ever did; to be "generally useful ". She made all the 
clothes the children wore ; she did all the ironing 
most exquisitely (no light task in the days when 
gentlemen wore frilled shirts) ; she baked all the 
loaf-bread used in the house, and did the cooking 
when company came to dinner ; she ruled the ser- 
vants with a rod of iron, spoke out freely to everyone, 
taught the children to read and write and sew, and 
from morning to night strove, without one thought 
of self, to promote the welfare and comfort of the 
family she served. 

There was an equally devoted nurse in the same 
household, who remained there for nineteen years, and 
who, being very diminutive, was known by the appel- 
lation of " I-ittle Mary ". Between her and " Rossie " 
a tremendous jealousy and antagonism subsisted, but 
as Mary's temper was naturally sweet and gentle, she 
was always the first to yield. Little Mary had dark 



hair, and large, soft, melting black eyes. Her voice, 
which could speak only the Gaelic tongue, was singu- 
larly sweet and low, and when she murmured " M'eudal 
bhochd," it fell like music on the ear. Until her dying 
day she never learned to speak a word of English, or 
wore a bonnet on her head. Her indoor attire always 
included a snow-white cap with large frills, and a litde 
tartan shawl ; and she liked to take off her carpet 
shoes and move noiselessly about the house in what 
the servants called her " stocking-heads ". 

The one absorbing passion of Little Mary's life 
was love for the children she had nursed ; and though 
her visits were always hailed with rapture by the 
children of the succeeding generation (who sat at her 
knee and listened with delight to her Gaelic songs 
and Gaelic stories, translated to them by a bystander), 
she never would acknowledge, tenderly as she petted 
them, that they could in any way equal her own 

Rossie's visits also were hailed with joy, although 
she displayed none of Mary's patience or tender- 
ness ; on the contrary, she considered that reproof 
had always a more salutary effect than praise. " I 

never liked you, Miss never, never, never ! " she 

would emphatically declare to one of her former 
pupils ; and then, perceiving a smile gathering on 
the face of one who belonged to a later generation, 
she would exclaim still more excitedly, "And I'll 



nevetUkej/ffu — ^you spoilt child — never, never, never!" 
If anyone else, however, had ventured to make a dis- 
paraging remark on any member of any of the families 
she had served, Rossie would have flown into a tower- 
ing passion and made a valiant defence, for to the 
absent she was true as steel. 

In person she was very small, with sandy hair, 
freckled complexion, and keen, intelligent light-blue 
eyes. She never went out without a long black-lace 
veil down to her waist — a veil being in those days a 
badge worn only by those who considered they had 
some claim to gentility — and it, like the "Miss" 
before her name, she considered a mark of her great 
superiority to the servants under her iron rule In 
winter she wore a tartan gown, tartan shawl and long 
boa, but on state occasions she liked to appear in a 
black silk dress and " filled plaid ". After leaving 
service she never adopted any new fashion regarding 
dress, but went on year after year wearing the same 
antique shape of bonnet, always surmounted by the 
long black veil 

When Rossie paid her last visit to the children of 
her first employer, she was haunted by a presentiment 
that she should never see them again. " This is my 
last visit, my dears," she said mournfully ; " ni never 
see you again — never, never, never 1 " And her 
favourite exclamation, with which she had ter- 
minated so many a sentence, proved true in this 



instance, for poor old Rossie died soon after- 

In Invemess,thirtyorfortyyears ago, the usual wages 
for a good housemaid averaged from thirty shillings 
to two pounds in the half-year, and for a good plain 
cook, from two pounds to three pounds. A dress- 
maker received tenpence a day if she went out to 
work at any private house, and charged from three 
to four shillings for making a dress at her own home. 

Hardly any of the townspeople in those days 
aspired to keep a carriage or men-servants. Even 
the doctors had to be content with very plain vehicles. 
When people wished to drive, they bad to engage a 
" noddy " (of which the town could boast only two), 
for which the lowest price charged was half-a-crown, 
though the distance might be only the length of a 
street, as cab-stands and shilling cabs were then 
unknown. Private carriages rarely entered Inver- 
ness except on Sundays, when a long line of those 
belonging to the county families might be seen on 
Church Street, in front of the old High Church and 
of St John's Chapel. 

It was the custom then for the Provost, Magistrates, 
and Town Council, to march in procession to the High 
Church every Sunday morning, and this was a sight 
which many juveniles looked forward to. In front, 
led by " Supple Sandy," came the town's officers, in 
scarlet coats, knee-breeches, and cocked hats, and 



with halberds on their shoulders ; then the Provost, 
with the Magistrates on each side, and last of all, the 
Town Council It was always a sign that one was in 
good time for church if this procession were in sight, 
for the sweet silvery bells never ceased to ring until 
all these town dignitaries had seated themselves in 
the front gallery of the old High Church, which was 
in those days filled to overflowing with a congregation 
fitted to appreciate and enjoy the learned sermons of 
Doctor Macdonald. 

There was another custom which gave the Inver- 
ness juveniles anything but pleasure, that of the 
watchmen calling each hour throughout the night. 
Many a child started in terror from its slumbers, 
wakened by the mournful, sepulchral voice of the 
watchman calling "Past three!" or " Past four!" ; and 
fancied that some ghost must be passing along the 
street There are some middle-aged men and women 
who have a vivid remembrance of the horror with 
which in their childhood they used to draw the bed- 
clothes over their heads, to try to shut out the sound 
of that ghostly wailing voice, which, to children of an 
imaginative, nervous temperament, conjured up all 
kinds of appalling visions. 

We have alluded to Ord's Circus as being an 
occasional source of dissipation in Inverness, but 
there was another yearly dissipation very long ago 
— the horse races at the Longman. Many an open 

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carriage, filled with gaily-attired ladies, accompanied 
by gentlemen on horseback, might be seen driving 
along Rose Street then ; and many a picnic basket 
was stocked and sent down after them, as the 
carriages might have to wait at the Longman for 
some time. 

After these races were given up, the Northern 
Meeting Games were for some time held at the 
Longman, but they were afterwards removed to 
the Academy Park, There was no Ladies' Institu- 
tion then in connection with the Academy. The 
boys and girls all met together in their classes, and 
the Park was not broken up and divided, but was 
extensive, and capable of accommodating a large 
assemblage. The crowds of ladies and gentlemen 
that poured in and out of the gates had this distinc- 
tion from those who now frequent the new grounds 
in Ardross Street, that they were mostly composed 
of people born and bred in the Highlands, with whose 
faces the Inverness people had long been familiar. 

Until within the last thirty years, the Northern 
Meeting Balls were exclusive in the extreme, and 
only one or two families among the townspeople 
were privileged to attend them. No amount of 
money — or even of landed property, if only recently 
acquired and not united to good birth — availed to 
obtain for the possessor an entrance within the 
charmed circle. Seventy or eighty years ago these 



balls were of so social a nature — composed entirely 
of Highland lairds and their families, who were all 
related to one another — that they resembled private 
evening parties more than public assemblies. There 
were little tables provided for some of the ladies, who 
were selected by the leading gentlemen and con- 
ducted to those places of honour in order to pour 
out the tea and coffee, which duty they used to per- 
form clad in neat little silk aprons. 

In those days when anyone who could not claim 
descent from or near relationship with some of the 
old county families could only with extreme difficulty 
obtain access to the Meeting balls, that same Northern 
proprietor, whose adventures in the way of being locked 
up in the Black Hole and of knocking down a man 
on the bridge we have already related, espied at one 
of the balls an Inverness gentleman standing near 
the counter in the refreshment room, and — not recog- 
nising him — ordered him to procure some brandy and 
soda water for him. The gentleman drew himself up, 
and replied stiffly, " I am not a waiter," upon which 
the laird (who had been drinking heavily), replied 

insolently, " You are d d like one then ". Later 

on he managed slyly to introduce a bottle of soda 
water into the pocket of the Inverness gentleman's 
coat-taiL The bottle exploded and left a stream of 
water as the victim moved along. The trick was 
brought home to the laird and a great row ensued. 



Gentlemen had to interfere, and at one time there 
were fears that a duel might occur, but at last the 
fierce and fiery laird was brought to reason, and made 
a humble apology either in person or by writing, and 
the matter was hushed ap. 

Another (much younger) Highland laird (whose 
estates lay in the same county with those of the one 
just mentioned, and who was equally wild, though 
not so passionate), joined with a number of other 
young fellows, at one of the Northern Meeting balls, 
in seizing hold of a young man whose father had 
only recently bought an estate in the neighbourhood 
of Inverness. They forced him to sit in a coal 
scuttle, in which they carried him about, telling him 
that they intended drawing as many teeth out of 
his head as his father had drawn out of theirs ; until 
he was rescued by the son of an Inverness-shire 
laird, whose conduct redeemed the honour of the 
Highland proprietors from the slur which otherwise 
would have rested upon them. 

The classes of Mr, Joseph Lowe — famous both as 
a teacher of dancing and a fisher of salmon in the 
Ness — always wound up in September with a ball, 
attended by his elder pupils and their relations 
and friends. There was also a forenoon "Juvenile 
Assembly," but in those days it was called the 
"Public Practising," and was intended as a sort of 
preparation for the approaching ball 



The Academy pupils also gave a ball every winter 
(generally at Christmas time), in the Academy Hall, 
which was well attended. 

The lectures which in those days were given every 
fortnight in the Academy Hall, in connection with 
the Mechanics' Institution, were a source of great 
attraction, although not so much to the workmen, 
for whom they were intended, as to ladies and 
gentlemen. Many a lecture on literature, science, 
and art, did Doctor Carruthers, Mr. George Ander- 
son, Sheriff Colquhoun, and other accomplished 
citizens give — citizens who have long since passed 
away ! Those lectures were most enjoyable and 
instructive, and to those who remember attending 
them, are linked with the most pleasing associations. 

Keith, the "janitor," a tall old soldier — the terror 
of unruly boys — used to stand at the hall door on 
those occasions, to look at the tickets of admission 
and conduct the ladies to their seats. When boys 
were kept in after school hours, for not having learnt 
their lessons correctly, and felt the pangs of hunger 
by five o'clock, they used to try to elude the sur- 
veillance of Keith, by letting down a long string with 
a penny attached to the end of it from one of the 
upper windows, as a signal to the passers by that a 
couple of rolls or "cookies" were wanted. Walter 
Sim, the town porter, was often on the look-out for 
one of those signals, and securely fastened the rolls 



to the end of the string, where they often dangled for 
some time, the boys being afraid to draw them up 
while Keith was on the watch. Keith was also 
librarian in the old library in connection with the 
Mechanics' Institution, which was then situated on 
Bridge Street, and he used to chat familiarly with 
every one who came for books, and to give his candid 
opinion of all the Inverness people. 

The quarterly ticket for the Library also procured 
admission to the fortnightly lectures in the Academy 
Hall, and cost only two shillings. 

Thirty years ago, all the gentlemen in Inverness 
sent their sons to the Academy, and were perfectly 
satisfied with the education to be received there. At 
an earlier date, not only the sons, but* the daughters 
of the neighbouring lairds were sent there, and in an 
old volume of the Inverness Journal the writer has 
read in the Academy Prize List the names of the 
sisters of many Highland lairds whose estates have 
long since passed into the hands of strangers. 

Many of these young ladies used to ride into town 
every morning, from their ancestral homes, on Shet- 
land ponies, and quite a row of ponies might some- 
times be seen ranged in front of the Academy, in the 
afternoon, waiting to take their owners home. 

Several men of note received their education at the 
Inverness Academy ; among others. Sir John Cowell, 
Master of Her Majesty's Household, and the late 



Edward Stratheam Gordon, afterwards Lord Gordon 
of Drumeam, who was likewise bom in Inverness. 

There were also many teachers in the Academy 
who are worthy of remembrance. One of the most 
venerated and best beloved of those was Mr. Urquhart 
— afterwards the Rev. Doctor Urquhart — who, in 1816, 
succeeded Mr. AUardyce as English master in the 
Academy, and remained there for about six years, 
being succeeded by Mr. Gumming, who in turn was 
succeeded by Mr. Johnson, 

Mr. Urquhart was adored by all his pupils, both 
boys and girls, and the first day that he appeared in 
the Academy, after returning from his marriage trip, 
they all met him at the door, with loud cheers and 
congratulations, and many demonstrations of affec- 
tion. For many years after leaving Inverness, he was 
the pastor of a church in Canada, and in that country 
he died. Very few of his old pupils now survive, but 
the writer has read many of his letters which testify 
to the affectionate regard and interest he continued 
to feel for some of them even after an interval of 
forty years. Judging from a photograph of him in 
the writer's possession (taken at Montreal), he must 
have been a man of a singularly winning and re- 
fined appearance. The mild and venerable face 
might have served as the portrait of the preacher in 
the Deserted Village, 

The masters who taught tc^ether with Mr. Urquhart 



in the Academy, under Mr, Adam, the Rector, were 
Mr. Carmichael, Mr. Wills, M. VHlemer, and two 
gentlemen who each bore the name of John Clark, 
but one of whom had a Reverend before his name. 
The last-named taught arithmetic and writing, and 
his colleague, Mr. John Paterson Clark, M.A, taught 
drawing. These two gentlemen were designated by 
their pupils — in order to prevent confusion from the 
similarity of name — by the titles of "Black Clark" 
and " Red Clark," owing to the colour of their hair. 
Mr. John Paterson Clark, who rejoiced in the latter 
title, was an amiable and kindly little man, who 
afterwards acquired celebrity as dentist to the Prince 
Consort, wrote a book called The Odontalgist (which 
was published In 1854), and purchased the estate of 
Fingask (now known by the name of Clunes), In the 
Aird, from which, after only a short residence, he 
removed to spend the few remaining years of his 
life in London, where all his wealth had been 

While Mr. Clark taught drawing in the Academy, 
his colle^ue, M. Villemer, taught French, Spanish, 
and Italian (the acquirement of the latter languages 
being as fashionable in those days as that of German 
is now). M. Villemer was a man of culture, and was 
the author of several books in the French language — 
among others, a poem called Astronomie, of which a 
second edition was printed in Edinbui^h by R. 



Wallace & Co. in 1824. Mr. Wills gave lessons in 
book-keeping, and Mr. Carmichael and the Rev. John 
Clark in Greek and Latin, while geography, mathe- 
matics, and natural philosophy were taught by Mr. 
Matthew Adam, the Rector. 

Mr. Adam was the fifth rector in the Academy, 
and his term of ofHce extended over the long period 
of 28 years. Several of his successors are kindly 
remembered still, such as Mr. David Gray, afterwards 
Professor in Marischal College and University, Aber- 
deen ; Mr. Peter Wilson, previously Professor in 
Anderson's College, Glasgow ; Mr. James Steel, who 
afterwards became a successful medical man ; Mr. 
Robert Harper, a Cambridge graduate, one of the 
wranglers of 1850, who, together with his intimate 
friend, Mr, Hoppett, the courteous English master, 
formed a great acquisition at many a social gathering 
in Inverness ; Mr. Peter Scott, who had previously been 
classical master in the Academy for many years, and 
with whom a number of boys used to board ; and Mr. 
George Robertson, now head master of Warrender 
Park School, Edinburgh. 

One of the rectors just enumerated — Mr. Steel — 
was considered to teach geography in a more masterly, 
enthusiastic, and attractive manner than it had ever 
been taught in Inverness before. His geographical 
class for young ladies was a very lai^e one, and all of 
them, from the youngest to the oldest, were eager 



pupils, and looked forward to the daily lesson as a 
great treat During the earlier period of Mr. Steel's 
connection with the Academy, he taught mathematics 
to several girls, tf^ether with the boys, and there 
were two young ladies of powerful abilities who so 
distinguished themselves as mathematicians that 
either of them was considered to have a higher claim 
to the gold medal than any of the boys. It was Mr. 
Steel's wish that it should be bestowed on one of 
them, but there was an idea among the powers in 
authority that it should be awarded only to one of 
the sterner sex, and so, to the Rector's disappoint- 
ment, the honour was not permitted to be the portion 
of either of the young ladies. 

Before his connection with the Academy, Mr. Steel 
taught in Dr. Bell's Institution, together with Mr. 
Buchanan. The latter taught English, composition, 
and history, and was celebrated for the rapid progress 
which he caused his pupils to make in their studies. 
Several of the essays written by boys and girls in his 
class were considered to display such ability and 
knowledge, and such ease and grace of diction, that 
they were printed, and somewhat widely circulated. 
The writer read lately an Analysts of the First Book 
of Milton's Paradise Lost, which was written in 1843, 
by Robert Livingstone, one of the boys in Mr. 
Buchanan's class, and which was considered so good 
that it obtained the first prize It was printed at the 

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Courier Office, tt^ether with a few of the weekly 
essays and daily exercises written by the pupils 
during the Session of 1843 ; all of which display 
considerable talent and reflect credit on the admirable 
teaching of Mr. Buchanan. 

While in connection with Bell's Institution, Mr. 
Steel had a private class of grown-up ladies, to whom 
he gave lessons in physical geography. Several 
married ladies attended it, among others Mrs. 
Buchanan (his colleague's wife) and Mrs, SherifT 
Colquhoun. Miss Martha Nicol (now Mrs. Dr. 
Holthouse), authoress of Jsmeer, or Smyrna and its 
British Hospitals in 1855, also attended it for a time. 
The class was one rendered mutually interesting by 
the enthusiasm of the teacher and the earnestness, 
intelligence, and appreciation of the pupils. Mr. Steel 
and Mr. Buchanan lived together for some time at 
Stoneyfield House, in the neighbourhood of Inver- 
ness, and had boys boarded with them there After 
leaving Inverness, Mr. Steel studied medicine, 
practised at Wishaw for some time, and died there a 
few years ago. 

Mr. Falconer, writing and arithmetic master in 
the Academy (who resided at Island Bank, and used 
to drive from there in his little phaeton), will long be 
remembered in Inverness as having been the terror of 
careless and disobedient boys, to whom he freely 
administered severe floggings, although to studious 

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■ pupils he was particularly kind, never stinting praise 
and encouragement 

A Pole of the name of Proszkowski at one time 
taught languages in the Academy, and was such an 
eccentric character that he was the source of never- 
ending amusement to his pupils. Some of them, 
indeed, made game of him to his face, and his name 
came to be corrupted first into " Prince o' Whisky," 
and latterly into "Cask o' Whisky," by which they 
not only designated him when absent, but boldly 
saluted him when called up to repeat their lessons in 

The Academy had once also a celebrated drawing 
master — the late Mr. John Guy Hamilton — celebrated 
not merely for his great talents as a painter, but on 
account of the peculiar disadvantages through which 
he persevered in his art He was bom without fingers 
or toes, and his pencil or brush had to be strapped to 
the stump which served him in place of a thumb. 
His paintings of scenes in the neighbourhood of 
Inverness were exquisite, and he specially excelled in 
delineating cloudy skies and lake or ocean scenery. 
As a teacher he could not be rivalled, and the draw- 
ings of his pupils bear evidence of having been 
directed by a master hand. 

Mr. Hamilton was also a very intellectual man, 
with a great charm of manner, which made him a 
great favourite with his pupils. His wife, a talented 

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and admirable woman (a native of Greenock), did a 
great deal of good in Inverness, among all classes and 
among persons of all ages, but taking a special 
interest in the young. In her great efforts to elevate 
the tone of mind and the pursuits and aspirations of 
the young people of Inverness, not merely among the 
poorer, but among the upper and middle classes, and 
in the influence she obtained over them, Mrs. Hamilton 
was exceeded by only one lady, and that was her 
friend, Mrs. Sarah Fraser, the first wife of Captain 
David Fraser of Dunaincroy — a lady whose richly- 
gifted mind and powerful intellect were equalled by 
the charm of her manner and the loveliness of her 

At a later date than Mr. Hamilton, Mr. James Glen 
was drawing master in the Academy, and also had a 
private class at his lodgings, on Church Street He 
was devoted to his art, and his good nature and 
patience were proverbial. His pupils have erected a 
monument at Tomnahurich to the memory of this 
shy, gentle, and single-minded little man. 

There was also an excellent boarding school for 
boys kept at Torbreck, near Inverness, by the Messrs. 
John, Walter, and Alexander Gair, the eldest of whom 
(John) was a man of great ability and an excellent 
teacher. Many boys were sent to Torbreck after 
leaving the Academy, and their Inverness friends 
who went to visit them there used to give glowing 

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accounts of the hearty reception they always received 
from the Messrs. Gair, and the capital Highland 
luncheons which never failed to be spread for every 
guest, however unexpected. 

During the last thirty years, ladies' boarding schools 
have not flourished in Inverness, but previous to that 
time they got on well, even though they always had a 
rival in the Academy. Mrs. Mitchell's, Mrs, Gibson's, 
and Miss Camaby's schools all proved successful, 
probably because they were not started on too 
expensive a scale, and also because there were fewer 
classes in Inverness in those days, and less rivalry and 
ambition among them, and because parents did not 
consider that the farther from home their children 
were sent the better their education must necessarily 

The only ladies' school that did not succeed in the 
days before railways, was one started at Drakies 
House, for boarders alone, on a very expensive and 
exclusive scale, by a Miss Howard (the daughter of 
an English rector), a lady of great culture and refine- 
ment, and the authoress of several excellent and 
thoughtful books, among others The Parents High 
Commission and The Moon's Histories. 

Miss Howard was peculiarly well fitted to super- 
intend the education of young girls, but she received 
only two or three boarders. She had, however, got 
the promise of more, but before they were able to 



come the school had to be given up, on account of 
great expense being incurred through the conduct of 
an Italian Signora, a most singular-looking personage, 
whom Miss Howard had engaged as her assistant, 
having heard of her through a register office in 
London. The Signora, whose appearance and man- 
ners caused great amusement at the evening parties 
to which she was invited by Miss Howard's friends, 
behaved at last in so discreditable a manner that her 
expenses had to be paid back to Italy, and Miss 
Howard, afraid to venture on any more dealings with 
foreign teachers, gave up her school, and at first re- 
turned to her father's rectory, but afterwards settled at 
Richmond, Her departure proved a great loss to 
Inverness, for her high-bred manners and cultivated 
mind had made her a great acquisition to the society 

Another English lady, Miss Wapshott, of whom a 
sketch is given in another chapter, had a private class 
for French and drawing, in her lodgings, on Church 

The celebrated singer, Mrs. Birch, occasionally 
came north, and gave lessons to the young ladies of 
Inverness, 'teaching them how to sing, in the most 
attractive manner, the songs of their native land. 

The name of Mr. Charles Morine was long 
associated with Inverness as a teacher of music, in a 
brilliant and showy style. He was the most fear- 



inspiring teacher the town ever possessed, for he used 
to rap the knuckles of his grown-up lady pupils with 
his pencil whenever they played a wrong note. 

There was, however, another music master in Inver- 
ness for very many years, to whose memory the 
writer, who was his pupil at the age of seven, is glad 
to pay a slight but heartfelt tribute. There never was 
a teacher more respected and beloved than old Mr. 
Thomson, He was a perfect gentleman, and his 
snow-white hair, his refined face, and venerable form 
can never be forgotten by his pupils. To the very 
youngest and smallest among them his manner was 
the personification of courtesy, and his patience never 
failed, even with the idlest and most stupid. How 
vividly the mention of his name recalls his low and 
courtly bow, his mild accents, his encouraging smile. 
He was a teacher who cared little for showy execution, 
but taught his pupils to play with taste and feeling; 
in fact, he used to say that he never enjoyed listening 
to the music of anyone who had not first learnt to feel. 
It was a favourite practice of his to place his watch 
on the back of any pupil's hand, to ensure its being 
kept in the right position, and though this always 
caused great trepidation, the watch was never known 
to fall. 

In those days it was not thought unfashionable for 
the ladies of Inverness to play the music of their 
native land, and among those most famed for their 



Highland music at that period was Miss Mat^ret 
Maciver, an elderly lady of gentle and retiring 
manners, whose pibrochs, reels, and exquisitely-played 
pathetic Gaelic airs caused her to be in great demand 
at evening parties. At these parties she appeared 
invariably clad in a black satin gown, a cap with 
white satin ribbons, black silk mittens, a reticule at 
her side, and a long Indian scarf of crimson and gold 
floating over her shoulders. 

Highland music was at that time played by many 
ladies who had long since passed their sixtieth year, 
and performances on the harp were also much the 
fashion with both young and old. The exquisite 
harp-playing of several Inverness ladies at that period 
is still well remembered. 

Very few young ladies received private lessons at 
their own homes, unless they had a resident governess. 
It was a very difficult matter to obtain the services of 
a daily governess, as thirty or forty years ago there 
were only one or two in the whole town who went 
out to teach. The position of a resident governess 
at that time, in the families of any of the leaders of 
fashion among the townspeople, or of the neighbour- 
ing lairds, was a very pleasant one. That hackneyed 
term, "one of the family," might then have been 
used with truth, for the governess was always applied 
to for counsel and sympathy in all family matters, 
and invited out to parties with the elder daughters of 

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the house. The tie between the employer and 
employed was then not merely one where both looked 
out for their own interest, but often one of generous 
friendship and tender consideration on the one side, 
and of life-long devotion on the other. 

Church going was in those days confined much more 
than now-a-days to Sundays alone, both among Pres- 
byterians and Episcopalians. In Mr. Fyvie's time 
there never were week-day services in St John's, 
except during Lent, and when his successor, Mr. 
Mackay, introduced the custom of a lecture every 
Wednesday night, it was considered such a novelty 
that it was regularly attended by many Presbyterians. 
After the Disruption, weekly prayer meetings began 
to be held in some of the Free Churches, but there 
were no other meetings or gatherings in any of the 
churches throughout the week. Nor were evening 
services on Sundays the custom. They were held 
instead at two o'clock in the afternoon, thus allowing 
only an interval of an hour, so that most of the town 
families were in the habit of bringing home with them 
friends who resided at a little distance, for rest and 
refreshment "between sermons" before returning to 
church. For some time there was but one minister 
in Inverness that held an evening service on Sunday, 
the Rev. David Sutherland of the Free East Church. 

The names of the old ministers of Inverness, such 
as "Parson Thomas," Doctor Rose, Mr. Clark, Mr, 

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&x)k, have probably never been heard of by many 
of the rising generation, although those middle-aged 
men and women who remember having spoken in 
their childhood to Mr. Clark, cannot surely hear his 
name spoken without reminiscences being called up 
of his 6ne, benevolent countenance, and his kind voice, 
which never sounded so tender and winning as when 
speaking to children, though for persons of all ^es 
and classes — but more particularly those who were 
poor or unfortunate — his sympathy and counsel were 
always ready. 

Mr. Cook,, who was the minister of the North 
Church before the Disruption, was a man of genuine 
piety and devoted zeal, and admirably suited to his 
congregation, but his sayings in the pulpit were often 
extraordinary. On one occasion he is reported to 
have said, " I wouldna' be a king, I wouldna' be a 
queen ; no, no, my freends, I would rather be a 
wo-rum, I would rather be a paddock ; for it's 
easier for a cow to climb a tree with her tail and 
hindlegs foremost, than for a rich man to enter into 
the kingdom of heaven ". Another time he said, 
" Many of you are thinking that you'll get into 
heaven hanging to the skirts of my coat, but I'll 
disappoint you and wear a spencer ". 

Mr, Cook was believed by the country people to 
have the gift of prophecy, and many anecdotes are 
still related by them of his prophetical gifts. Among 



Others they relate that once when aiding on religious 
matters with a man who spoke in a scoffing manner, 
the latter said, " Mr, Cook, we'll see what I have said 
come true before the year is out *'. Mr. Cook replied, 
" My friend, you'll not be here to see the year go 
out," and that proved true, for the man died shortly 

Many years have not elapsed since the death of 
Mr. Gair — commonly known as "Sandy Gair" — an 
equally worthy and old-fashioned minister, who 
belonged to the Church of Scotland all his days, 
and had a charge for some time in Glenmoriston, 
He was famed for his simplicity, homeliness, and 
kindness of heart, but certainly preaching was not 
his forte, and he was much less in his element 
when in the pulpit than when he had been assisting 
his brothers in teaching the boys at Torbreck 

At a time when cholera was raging throughout the 
country, Mr. Gair was told that the more frightened 
he felt- of the disease, the more likelihood there was 
of his taking it, and that he should try to fix his 
thoughts on something else. " Weel," said he to a 
lady with whom he was taking tea, " I tried an' tried 
to do that, but I couldna' succeed ; so at last I took 
a big bodle pin, an' I put the point of it as far doon 
into the palm of my hand as I could, an' I kept 
twisting it roond an' roond, deeper and deeper, till 



at last the pain was so bad that it quite took my 
thochts off the cholera." 

This worthy old man visited all the poor people in 
the district, regardless whether they were Church of 
Scotland, Free Church, or Roman Catholics, adminis- 
tering to them not only spiritual, but medical advice, 
so that none of them ever needed to go to the expense 
of calling in a doctor. He supplied the sick with 
medicines, and the hungry with food, and was also 
the banker of such among the cottars as had saved a 
little money, for they always thought it was more 
secure in his chaise than in a bank. Pastor, banker, 
lawyer, doctor, and benefactor all in one, as he was to 
all the poor people for miles around, Mr. Gair's death 
was to them an irreparable calamity. His attached 
parishioners have erected a handsome monument to 
his memory in the beautiful little churchyard at 

Mr. Gair was a favourite not only with the poor, but 
among other classes, though his quaint ways and 
speeches often called forth a quiet laugh. His brother 
parsons always enjoyed a chat with him, and with the 
Roman Catholic priest in the same parish he was on 
the most cordial and friendly terms. He was always 
ready to put his hand to any work, and not only hoed 
his own potatoes in the field, but occasionally helped 
his neighbours with theirs. He was very fond of 
being asked out to tea — indeed often joined the tea 

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table of his parishioners without being invited — and 
on these occasions, before setting out, he generally 
soaked with oil the long black locks which straggled 
over his shoulders, thinking that by so doing he made 
himself more attractive in the eyes of the ladies, of 
whom, though he always remained a bachelor, he 
was a general admirer. Before taking his departure 
at night he used to narrate many an episode of bygone 
days over his one small tumbler of toddy, which he 
took only when in company, and always enjoyed, but 
never exceeded. 

The quaint, homely race of ministers, whether of the 
type of Mr. Cook, or the distinctly different type of 
Mr. Gair, has nearly died out, like the old bankers, 
lawyers and doctors, the old shop-keepers and the old 
servants, and so have the manners and customs of 
" Old Inverness " died out, never to return again ! 

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flHERE are many people to whom what- 
ever is old is uninteresting, to whom 
old books and old furniture are mere 
rubbish, and who would consider a 
visit to an old castle or abbey a bore unless made the 
occasion of a pic-nic. There are others — few indeed in 
comparison with the former — who cling so closely to 
old associations that the severance from them causes 
a wound which never ceases to bleed, and who live so 
completely in the past that it alone seems a reality, 
and the present a dream from which they hope soon 
to awaken. Among these latter there are persons to 
whom the streets of Inverness are haunted by forms 
unseen by other eyes, and who, notwithstanding the 
extension and improvements of the town, think with 
regret of the old country walks once so rural and 
retired but now built over, and of the old buildings 
now pulled down to make way for modem ones, or 
turned to uses very different from those originally 

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No part of the town is more completely changed 
than the Hill. Drummond, Barnhill, and the Kings- 
mills and Midmills roads have been completely meta- 
morphosed. The Kingsmills road (if not the very 
oldest) is one of the oldest in the vicinity of Inverness 
(the hedges which still border part of it being probably 
of greater age than any others near the town) ; and 
until within a recent period it was one of the most 
retired. Not many years have elapsed since the only 
dwelling-houses between the entrance of the Mid- 
mills road and Milnfield (the residence of the Misses 
Macdonell) consisted of three thatched cottages (two 
of them much further from town than the other), which 
still exist AbertariTs old dairy stood where Heath- 
mount is now built, and from it a path called "Goose- 
dubs" branched off between the fields in the direction 
of what is now called Annfield road, but what was 
then a very narrow pathway, from which no house 
could be seen on the lonely old Edinburgh road except 
the solitary farm-house of Lilyfield, tenanted by an old 
man, who went by the name of " Little Angus ". 
Goosedubs was bordered by wild roses and other 
lovely wild flowers, and formed as secluded and rural 
a spot for a saunter as could be found near Inverness. 
Southside Place is now built over the first half of it ; 
and the other half,- although still partly bordered by a 
ragged hedge, is shorn of its former rural beauty, and 
is a mass of mud and nettles. 

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The Kingsmills road is always associated in the 
writer's mind with an old man called " Staggering 
Angus" — or indeed often merely "Staggering" — from 
a paralytic affection of his whole body, who, in 
extreme old age, used to bask in the sunshine, seated 
on the steps of a primitive cottage (long since pulled 
down), which was situated at the top of Stephen's 
Brae, and separated from the road by a moss-grown 
wall. He always made a low obeisance and murmured 
some words of blessing, which the writer well remem- 
bers although at that time only four or five years old. 
Staggering Angus had maintained himself for years 
by doing errands in the town, and also by going round 
regularly to waken all the gentlemen who intended 
starting by the early coach. He was a great favourite 
with the Inverness gentlemen, but most particularly 
with the writer's grandfather, Mr, Peter Anderson. 
The latter, on the occasion of Angus's marriage 
ordered several carriages to convey the bridal party, 
and the wedding was such an unexpectedly grand 
turn-out, that it was considered quite an era in the 
annals of Inverness. Flags waved from several win- 
dows, and the old errand-man and his goigeously 
attired wife were followed by a crowd as they drove 
in state through the streets, while many of the Inver- 
ness gentlemen stood on the pavement waving their 
hats, and crying "Three cheers for Angusi Good luck 
to Angus ! " 

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Angus had ever been the meekest and most in- 
oflTensive of human beings, but his singular appearance 
so startled a stranger lady who was one day coming 
out of the Caledonian hotel that she shrieked aloud 
and attracted the attention of all the passers by. 
Poor Angus, in no wise ofTended, but grieved that he 
had been the cause of alarm, seized the lady's hand — 
not aware that by doing so, he added to her fright — 
exclaiming apologetically, " Don't be afraid, ' M'eudal 
bhochd,' I was always this way, I was born like this ". 

No Southside road or Muirfield road or any of those 
innumerable cross-roads by which the Hill is now 
intersected, had then been even contemplated, but it 
made a pleasant variety to come home from the 
Kingsmills road by Millbum, either by turning down 
the Perth road past Viewfield — so long the residence 
of Banker Sandy Mackenzie (Johnny Cope), and the 
scene of his supper-parties — or by the Midmills read 
which led past the then private and secluded grounds 
of the Crown to only three houses. These houses 
were Maryfield, the property and summer resort of 
Banker James Wilson ; Midmills House, the residence 
of Mrs. and the Misses Macdonald (Ness Castle), and 
the old gentlemen, Captain Fyers, who was so long an 
inmate of their home; and Midmills Cottage, where 
Mrs. Colonel Mackay (the authoress of several earnest 
religious works in prose and verse, and daughter of 
Captain Mackay, Hedgefield), lived for many years. 

. n,gN..(jNGoogie 


The Millburn road was the liveliest of all in the 
neighbourhood, owing to the departure and arrival of 
the coaches, which have been already described, but 
except the old Millburn House (the property and 
residence of "Willie Welsh," the dining-room and 
drawing-room of which he .is alleged to have used as 
granaries), there were no houses between the end of 
Petty Street and the picturesque, small cottage, a 
little beyond the entrance to the Diriebught road 
(where the tall commanding officer Captain Goldie, 
paymaster of the pensioners, lived), and another low- 
roofed cottage nearly at right angles with it, which 
was for a time the home of Mrs. Mactavish, Dun- 
balloch. The " Hut of Health," where the Barracks 
now stand, was a favourite resort for young people 

Few of the houses on the Culduthel road were in 
existence then, and of these few most have changed 
their names. Viewmount (latterly the property of 
the late Mr. Charles Stewart), was built by a Mr. 
Anderson, who was agent for the Bank of Scotland 
before Mr. Mackenzie, and afterwards bought Gortu- 
leg and went to reside there. The next occupant of 
Viewmount was the kind and friendly Doctor Munro, 
after whose death it became the home of the hand- 
some and accomplished Sheriff Colquhoun. Wood- 
cliffe was formerly called " Framfield," and was built 
by the late Provost Simpson, After he removed to 
Springfield it was for a long time the residence of 

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Mrs. Provost Grant and her daughter, Mrs. Macqueen. 
Clifton Lodge was built by Mr. Ross, who had lived 
for many years in Berbice, and was named by him 
" Berbice Cottage ". A subsequent owner, who had 
resided in Dutch Guiana, changed the name to 
"Surinam Lodge". Broomhill was built by Mr, 
James Wilson, who resided there previous to his being 
appointed agent for the Commercial Bank. Thornhill 
(so lately sold by Mr. Black to Sheriff Shaw), was 
built by the writer's uncle, Mr. George Anderson, who 
named it " Blinkbonny," and resided there for a good 
many years. It was afterwards for some time the 
residence of Sheriff Thomson, who called it " Tighna- 
grein ". Hill Park was formerly called " Parkhill," 
and was built by Mr. Macleod, who had long lived in 
the West Indies. Hedgefield was built and long 
occupied by Captain Mackay. 

The only cross-road from the Culduthel road to the 
old Edinburgh road was one which led past one of 
the entrances to Roseheath (now called Hilton House), 
the property and residence of Dean Fyvie, the 
principal entrance being from the old Edinburgh road 

Drummond Wood was as retired a resort as 
"Goosedubs". It was reached by a dilapidated rustic 
bridge across the Aultnaskiah burn, and there was no 
path leading from that beyond the little wooden cottage 
which still stands there as it has done for very many 

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years. Another small cottage might then have been 
seen, a little further on, to the left hand, but no glimpse 
could be had of any other dwelling beyond the bridge, 
except of the old house of Drummond, which stood 
there in complete solitude and seclusion. Where so 
many pretty villas now rise on either hand, there was 
then only an open field. Oaklands, Merlewood, 
Drummond Park, and the many other handsome 
houses which now crown the terrace looking down on 
the Ness, were then undreamt of. 

Along the Dores road, also, there were at that time 
no good-sized houses between Willowbank, where old 
Mrs. Glasfurd and her brother Mr. Robertson lived, 
and Island Bank, the residence of Mr. Falconer, 
writing master in the Academy ; so that the walk to 
Ness Cottage (now known as Rossie Lodge) — under- 
taken so often by old Mrs. Eraser's friends in 
the summer evenings, to enjoy a cup of her fine 
tea (which for strength and flavour was never 
excelled), and play a game at bacl^ammon with 
her — was then in reality a country walk. With the ■ 
exception of the cottage at the Waterworks, there 
were only two small cottages between Willow Bank 
and Island Bank, and they were both situated at the 
cross-roads. The one on the left hand, a long 
thatched tenement, has only recently had to give 
place to a large mansion, but the other, a small 
wooden hut on the right band, once used as a toll bar, 

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is remembered only by a few. It was inhabited by 
an old pensioner, who dearly loved a chat with the 
passers by, and always gladly afforded a shelter to 
any one during a shower of rain. Between Mr. 
Falconer's house and Ness Cottage there were no 
houses ; and the only one to be seen on the terrace 
above, was a low thatched cottage called Campfield 
(from its being built on the site where the Black 
Watch was emlxxlied and encamped), which has been 
so enlai^d and beautified that it has quite lost its 
identity in what is now called " The Camp". Campfield 
was the summer resort of the late Doctor Nicol, who 
first started the Holme Mills, and who, when Provost 
of Inverness, planned and carried out many local im- 
provements, and caused that pretty path to be made 
which runs alongside of the river from the end of 
Ness Bank to Bellfield, and to which he gave the 
name of" The Ladies' Walk". He was a remarkably 
clever physician, and was also a man of great energy 
and force of character. It was a great loss to the 
town when he was carried away by the cholera during 
its memorable visitation in 1849. He died at his 
residence in Murray Place, and was succeeded in his 
practice by the beloved and lamented Doctor Wilson, 
who had for a long time been his assistant. 

On the opposite side of the Ness also, many changes 
have taken place. There were then no villas, great 
or small, near Tomnahurich, and no cemetery had 

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been dreamt of. The top of the hill was all covered 
with little hollows which were supposed to be the 
abodes of the fairies, and the children of Inverness 
often sat for an hour beside them, watching for the 
appearance of one of the little ladies in green, who, 
if caught in time, could be made to grant three 
wishes ! 

The road leading from the end of Tomnahurich 
Street to Millerton Bridge, had no house on either 
side, and was very lonely, except in time of frost, 
when bands of skaters might have been seen hasten- 
ing to Loch-na-Sannis, which was a great resort in 
winter for young people. 

Dunachton House was then called " Ballifeary," and 
was the residence of Mr. Patrick Grant, W.S., Sheriff- 
clerk. What is now called Ballifeary was then called 
" Eileanach," and was the abode of Doctor Mackenzie; 
and Springfield — so long the residence of the late 
Provost Simpson — was formerly the home, first of 
Mrs. Macdonald, and afterwards of her son-in-law 
and daughter. Banker and Mrs. Thomson. Spring- 
field had been built by Mrs. Macdonald herself, and 
as there were then very few villas in the neighbour- 
hood of Inverness — the townspeople living mostly in 
the streets and the county people in the country — 
this pretty residence, surrounded by beautiful gardens, 
and fitted up inside with exquisite taste, was a source 
of universal admiration, and was considered unsur- 

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passed by any other abode in the ; vicinity of the 

Ballifeary House — now called " Dunachton " — was 
built by Mr. Mactavish, who was married to one of 
the Miss Macdonells, MilnBeld, and was the first 
agent that was ever in the Commercial Bank on 
Church Street. He afterwards sold Ballifeary to 
Mr. Patrick Grant, SherifF-clerk. 

There is a singular story connected with the death 
of Mr. Mactavish, which, at that time when supersti- 
tion was rife in the Highlands, caused great excite- 
ment and awe. 

Mr, Mactavish had been ill for some time with a 
pain in his tongue which ultimately was discovered 
to arise from cancer, and he arranged to go to 
London to have an operation performed, accom- 
panied by a nephew who was a barrister in the 
metropolis, but had been on a visit to Inverness. 
A journey to London was in those days a very 
serious undertaking, and the Banker went first to 
pay a farewell visit to his cousins at Migavie, in 
Stratherrick, accompanied by Mr. Sandy Mactavish, 
the Town-clerk, who was one of the Migavie family. 

It was alleged that when anyone connected with 
the Mactavishes at Migavie was about to die, strange 
moaning sounds were always heard proceeding from 
trees in the vicinity of the house, but the greatest 
peculiarity in the occurrence was that although the 

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cries were heard by everyone else most distinctly, the 
doomed person was never able to hear them at alL 
The country people declared that although this 
banshee was never to b« seen, the rattling of its 
bones might often be beard, forming an accompani- 
ment to its criea 

On the evening before the Banker and his nephew 
left Migavie, they were taking a walk in the neigh- 
bourhood, accompanied by the Town-clerk and various 
members of the family, when suddenly mournful and 
weird cries were heard, and some one exclaimed, 
" There is the banshee ! " 

Everyone heard the sounds except the Banker and 
his nephew, but though they strained their ears, they 
could hear nothing. 

Next day they left for London, and after arriving, 
the Banker wrote to the Town-clerk, asking in joke, 
whether anything had come of the banshee's cries. 
Mr. Sandy Mactavish wrote to say that no one had 
died as yet, but this letter crossed on the way an 
intimation of the Banker's death, and soon afterwards 
news came that his nephew also had died. 

The banshee was probably an owl, but the mystery 
of how the doomed persons were always unable to 
hear its warnings, has never been cleared up. 

The three villas, Eileanach, Old Ballifeary, and 
Springfield have now got many rivals in all direc- 
tions, the building of which no one anticipated then ; 

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and the Northern Infirmary, which stands in their 
immediate neighbourhood, has also been much im- 
proved since those days. Before the erection of 
the Lunatic Asylum, lunatics were confined in the 
wings on each side of the Infirmary, and their cries 
had often a saddening and disturbing effect on the 
passers-by. They might generally be seen at the 
windows, gazing wistfully and mournfully out on 
the road, and sometimes a few of the more harmless 
ones were permitted to wander about the grounds, 
and even to go outside the gates. There was one 
among them, named Amott, who was particularly 
fond of accosting all the ladies who passed along the 
road, and making remarks to them on their dress and 
personal appearance. 

" I fear you use lip-salve, ladies," he would some- 
times say, "but such things are expensive, and do 
not improve beauty ; there is nothing like beauty 

It became quite the custom for many ladies who 
passed the Infirmary during their daily walk, to stop 
to have a chat with Arnott, although there were some 
who could never overcome their terror of him, and 
always turned back when he appeared in sight 

There have been many changes since those days 
on the road between the Infirmary and the Suspension 
Bridge. No Cathedral, no Bishop's Palace, no Col- 
legiate School, no Ardross Terrace had arisen then 

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even in the wildest dreams of the imagination. Be- 
yond Ness House (long since levelled to the ground), 
the residence of Banker John Mackenzie, there stood 
— where now Ardross Terrace stands — the humble 
houses ranged round "the Little Green". The houses 
were almost entirely inhabited by washerwomen, who 
spread out the clothes they washed on the Green, 
which was not separated from the road by even a 
paling, and presented a snow-white appearance — it 
was so closely covered with linen from end to end. 
Ladies in town .often sent their servants with clothes, 
which had been washed at home, to get them bleached 
on the Green, and paid one of the washerwomen two- 
pence a night to sit up and watch them. The women 
took it in turn, to perform this office, and the watcher 
sat all night at an attic window. 

At the end of the Little Green might have been 
seen for many years, from morning to night, a primi- 
tive kind of vehicle on which was seated the form of 
an old man, named Suter, who had at one time been 
a house painter, but had lost the use of his limbs. 
His wife wheeled him there every morning and re- 
turned for him every evening ; and there he sat 
patiently all day long, asking for nothing, but appeal- 
ing by his helplessness to the pity of the passers by, 
among whom there were many who stopped to have a 
friendly chat with the old man, or drop a sixpence 
into his hand. 

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Before the Suspension Bridge was made, the Ness 
was spanned by a handsome structure of seven ribbed 
arches called the " Stone Bridge," to distinguish it 
from the wooden bridge above the old harbour. 
There was a vault in the stone brit^ which was at 
one time used as a prison, and of which an interesting 
account is given in the Reminiscences of a Clachna- 
cuddin Nonagenarian — old John Maclean — published 
in 1842. There is a story that a prisoner was 
devoured by rats in this vault early in the last cen- 
tury, but the nonagenarian does not seem to give 
much credit to it. This nonagenarian also relates 
that " Previously to the erection of the present stone 
bridge, there existed one of oak, which stood a little 
below it, and which was used until the following 
accident occurred : — An old wife was passing over 
the bridge, which was protected with railings, one 
wintry night with a load of heather on her back, when 
a blast sweeping down the glen took effect upon the 
heather and hurled the poor creature into the flood, 
in which she perished. On account of this the bridge 
was condemned ; and in 1685 the present stone bridge 
of seven arches was erected, partly at the expense of 
the town, and partly at the expense of M'Leod of 
M'Leod, the Hon. Lord Lovat, Forbes of Culloden, 
and Inshes. Some of the stone employed was from 
a demolished fort, which was erected by Oliver Crom- 
well when his troops were stationed in Inverness. On 

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account of M'l^eod of M'Leod and the other lairds 
contributing veiy lai^ly to the expense of erecting 
the bridge, their clans were exempted for ever from 
payment of the toll, which was established to defray 
the expense incurred by the town. Some years after. 
Lord Lovat sold his privilege to the bui^h, and bis 
tenants had consequently to pay. The toll was a 
do^, or the sixth part of a penny, and it is on 
record that a short time previouslyto the era of 1745-6, 
it was a common sight to see a poor woman wading 
across the river with one of " the lords of creation " 
on her back in order for him to escape the toll. 
Another expedient for relieving themselves of the 
tax was adopted by a number of persons residing in 
the country west of the river. On Sabbath forenoon, 
instead of paying the toll and going to the kirk, a 
numerous party assembled on the spot known as the 
bleaching green and played a game of cammack. 
The minister with the congregation on coming from 
worship, were grieved at so unusual and unseemly a 
sight ; and finding that the shelty players alleged 
their inability or unwillingness to pay the toll as 
the cause of their absenting themselves from kirk, 
the town authorities were applied to, who very con- 
siderately ordered the toll ever after to be discontinued 
on the Sabbath." 

The Stone Bridge was carried away in 1849 hy a 
flood which was ^gravated by certain defects in the 

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works of the Caledonian Canal The fine old structure 
fell at exactly a quarter-past six, on the morning of 
Thursday, the 2Sth of January, 1849. Its lamps had 
continued to bum throughout the storm of wind and 
rain which had accompanied the roaring of the flood, 
but all at once the lights went out, and then, according 
to The Great Floods in the North of Scotland in 
January, 184^ (Inverness : Courier Office), " a slight 
groaning sound was heard, the centre arch gave way, 
and in a minute afterwards the whole seven arches at 
once disappeared beneath the flood, leaving only a 
portion of the pier and parapet of the arch next Bridge 
Street, with the lamp attached". The last person who 
had crossed the stone bridge was a sailor, named 
Matthew Campbell, who had gained the gold medal 
for Classics in the Inverness Royal Academy in 1833. 
Up to the last moment he had been indefatigable in 
his exertions, going to and fro across the bridge to 
assist the poor people in the Green in removing, and 
he had barely reached the northern bank when the 
whole structure disappeared. 

Hundreds had to turn out of their beds in the middle 
of the night, and the lower rooms in all the houses on 
each side of the Ness, even so far from it as the Haugh 
and Murray Place were filled with a great depth of 
water. Three aged ladies in Ness Bank (the Misses 
Fraser, Farraline) were removed from their house in 

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tubs ; many other ladies had to be conveyed through 
the water on the backs of men (of whom some never 
recovered from the effects of the cold received from 
wading to rescue the fair sex) ; and fish were seen 
swimming about in the parlours and kitchens of many 
dwellings in the Haugh, Ness Bank, and Douglas 
Row. It was a great surprise for many children in 
Inverness on coming down stairs in the morning to 
breakfast to find their dining-room filled with rela- 
tions and friends from the river-side, whose servants 
also filled the kitchen. The people who had a shelter 
to go to were fortunate indeed ; but there were maoy 
1^0 had no friends to take them in, and who not 
only lost all they possessed, but died from the effects 
of the exposure. 

The Magistrates, however, made every provision 
in their power for the hundreds of the poorer classes 
who were rendered homeless that night The kitchen 
of the Northern Meeting Rooms, the Town Hall, 
Bell's School, the Poor House, and the Gaelic Church, 
were all thrown open to them. Fires were lighted 
for them and straw provided for beds, while bread 
and beer were supplied for supper at the town's ex- 
pense. By Dr. Nicol's advice the females were ac- 
commodated principally in the kitchen of the Northern 
Meeting Rooms, and the males in Bell's Institution. 

The sight from the CasUe Hill on the morning of 
the flood, with the fragments of the Bridge in the 

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foreground, and with twenty-three streets and lanes 
under water, was one never to be forgotten. Many of 
the old people thought that the end of the world had 

Until the Suspension Bridge was erected, people 
were obliged to cross the Ness at first by a boat, for 
which the charge was one halfpenny, and afterwards 
by a temporary little wooden bridge adapted only for 
foot passengers. 

In 1848 the present jail buildings were completed. 
Previous to that date the jail was in an old building 
on Bridge Street A long passage with grated 
windows ran in front of the cells, and the prisoners 
were allowed, sometimes, to walk there and look out 
upon the street Down below was the " Black Hole " 
where drunken disturbers of the peace were locked 
up. It was entered by an iron gate, next to where a 
tobacconist's shop now stands, and through the bars 
the imprisoned brawlers could be distinctly seen in 
the daytime, while their cries at night, when attacked 
by rats, disturbed the slumbers rf the whole neigh- 
bourhood. The Police Office was situated a little 
lower down the street, whwe a bookseller's shop now 

In 1S47 the old Town Hall, so recently pulled 
down, was visited by the late Prince Consort in ord«- 
tbat he might receive the freedom of the buigh. The 
Exchange was crowded with spectators,amongst whom 

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the Prince walked slowly, bowing and smiling, so that 
every one obtained a good view of his features, while 
his gracious bearing won every heart The Prince 
was then on a visit at Dochfour, and he attended one 
of the Nortliem Meeting Balls. This visit made 1847 
a memorable year for Inverness. 

The Exchange in front of the old Town Hall was 
the place where the hustings were erected at the time 
of the parliamentary elections. Great riots often took 
place at those times, and rotten eggs and oranges 
were freely pelted about, often hitting the candidates 
as they stood in front of the hustings making speeches 
to the assembled crowd. At the time when Sir (then 
Mr.) Alexander Matheson was opposed by Mr. Richard 
Hartley Kennedy of London, the demonstrations round 
the hustings were particularly boisterous, and it was 
quite unsafe to pass along High Street All the 
windows opposite the Exchange were crowded with 
ladies and gentlemen watching the proceedings with 
keen interest. 

Among the old buildings in Inverness, linked with 
historical associations, are the remnants of Cromwell's 
Fort, near the mouth and on the east side of the 
river, beside the harbour. The walk round the 
ramparts used to be a great favourite with the 
Invemessians at the time when they took daily con- 
stitutionals. Some of them went there regularly on 
some iwrticular day in each week, and then went 

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across to the Powder House and round by Rose 
Street. Very long ago, close to the old Fort, there 
was a factory for making sacking and sails, belong- 
ing to a company of gentlemen in Inverness, and 
under the management of Major Alpin Grant, the 
writer's maternal great-grandfather, for whom it was 
named " The Alpin Factory " ; while on the opposite 
side of the river a rival factory had been started 
by the writer's grandfather, Mr. Peter Anderson, 
solicitor. The two streets running at right angles to 
each other from the wooden bridge have been named 
Anderson Street and Grant Street after the two rival 

Major Alpin had for his head clerk a namesake of 
Mr. Anderson's, from Aberdeenshire, who was rarely 
called by his own name of Peter Anderson, but went 
by the title of " Peter Kekee," probably from his 
having a stammer in his speech. A worthy old- 
fashioned little man he was, gentle and courteous, as 
well as faithful, shrewd and industrious ; and when 
he ultimately left his first employer to fill the post of 
confidential clerk to his namesake across the river, 
the loss to Major Alpin was very great, and the sense 
of rivalry between the two gentlemen became deeper 
than ever. , 

Peter Kekee's daughter for many years taught the 
Infant School in the Observatory Buildings, which 
was inspected every Monday morning by a number 



of old ladies, including Miss Munro (Munlochy) ; Miss 
Mackintosh and Miss Macbeao (Tortola) ; and Miss 
Mackintosh of Dalinigavi& 

Peter Kekee died in 1853, but the memory of 
the good and gentle little man is still green in the 
hearts of some who are descended from both his old - 

His second employer, Mr, Anderson, built that 
comfortable and commodious house on Church Street 
(the back windows of which look out on the river), 
which was lately purchased by Mr. Logan, and re- 
sided there for many years, having his ofRce under 
the same roof — a little flight of steps leading to it 
from the dining-room. In that dining-room the girls 
boarded at Mrs. Gibson's school assembled to take tea 
nearly every Saturday, and some of them who still 
survive can remember how the disappearance of the 
old gentleman tn his knee-breeches, long stockings, 
and buckled shoes, up the steps leading into his 
office, after tea, was the signal for their tongues to 
become unloosed, and for the round games and 
merriment to commence. 

This house was tenanted by three lawyers in 
succession, for Mr. Reach resided there after Mr. 
Anderson, and was succeeded by Mr. Colin Cbisholm. 

The old house at the shore is still in existence, 
where Major Alpin reared his large family, and 
always kept a comer at his fireside for worthy old 

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Mr. John Grant, the father of his first wife, who, 
although he had no grandchildren of his own, was 
fondly tended by the daughters of his son-in-law. 
Mr. Grant had been at one time minister of Glen- 
Urquhart, and usually went by the name of "Mr. 
John ". 

There are some very old buildings at the foot of 
Shore Street, which cannot be rivalled as to their 
appearance of antiquity by any other houses in In- 
verness. There is, in fact, no part of the town which 
seems to belong more to the remote past and to lead 
one's thoughts more to it than the Shore — a part 
which many people resident in Inverness have never 
visited at all, but which was once considered a most 
fashionable locality. 

There may still be seen in Shore Street, nearly 
opposite the end of Portland Place, the house within 
a small courtyard where once lived an old lady 
named Miss Kirsty Fraser, famed for her tea-parties 
and for her fine voice, which was displayed to most 
advanti^ when singing "The Vale of Avoca" at the 
supper-table. No social gathering was considered 
complete at that time without Miss Kirsty, and no 
one's singing was more highly applauded. 

A little further down the street, nearer the harbour, 
in a high old-fashioned house with a flight of steps 
leading up to the doorway, and situated in a court- 
yard opening into a little lane, lived long ^o the four 

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Misses Fraser, Farraline, aunts of Mr. Eraser, Abersky, 
and also of Miss Grace, Miss Mar^ret, and Miss 
Kate, who afterwards came to reside at Ness Bank, 
and who, even in old age, were called the "young Miss 
Frasers," to distinguish them from the still older ones 
at Shore Street The " old Miss Frasers " have been 
described to the writer as most charming ladies, hos- 
pitable, amiable, and kind, and always having a hearty 
welcome awaiting their friends. On the old-fashioned 
buffet in their drawing-room, two bottles of wine — 
port and sherry — and a large silver basket of rich 
shortbread awaited, every day, any visitor who might 
chance to call. In this drawing-room also were ranged 
four spinning-wheels, at which the four sisters, every 
day, sat and span. 

The sisters were intensely attached to one another ; 
they could not live apart, night or day, and all slept 
in the same room. Miss Annie (who had once been 
very pretty) slept with Miss May, the eldest of all, 
while Miss Jacoba and Miss Jenny were always 

Miss May was the first to die, and then many years 
elapsed before the next break occurred. One night 
Miss Jenny was awakened by hearing Miss Jacoba 
singing Psalms in a sweet, low voice. " Go to sleep 
Jenny, dear, and do not mind me," said the latter, " I 
am only singing my Maker's praises ; I feel as if I 

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must do so." So Miss Jenny went to sleep again, 
and by the morning Miss Jacoba was dead. 

The Shore seems to have been a favourite place of 
residence for maiden ladies of the name of Fraser. 
Another family of sisters, the Misses Fraser, Fanellan 
(of whom it is said there were nine altogether), lived 
there for a long period, and the name of one of them 
is tr^cally associated with the Gunpowder Explosion 
which took place on the site of the Northern Meeting 

There are not many remaining now in the town of 
what once were the dwellings of the old leading citi- 
zens, and the few which do remain have gone through 
great transformations, and fill very different purposes 
from what they did originally. 

The''Blue House" on Huntly Street — sonamedfrom 
its being one of the first slated houses in the town — 
was successively the abode of many county families, 
but is now turned into a lodging-house for the poor, 
who bleach their clothes on the space in front, which 
was once secluded from the public gaze by fine old 
trees and shrubs. An aged lady in Inverness has 
often narrated to the writer the delight with which, in 
her youth, she used to visit the Blue House, when it 
was the abode of a gentleman known as "Mr. Munro, 
Grenada" (from his having long lived in the West 
Indian island of that name), who had married a 
daughter of Provost Chisholm's, and had several 



danghters. There were beautiful gardens and a de- 
lightful conservatoiy attached to the house, but the 
great delight of the young people, who sometimes 
went there on a Saturday from Mrs. Mitchell's Schoc^, 
was a room filjed with foreign birds of brilliant 
plumage, having among them a parrot of such re- 
markable talking powers as had never been equalled 
by any parrot in Inverness. At a later date the Blue 
House was the residence of the mother and sister of 
Captain Fraser of Balnain. 

Many of the other old dwelling-houses, famed for 
their hospitality in days gone by, have been turned 
into offices and shops, as it is now thought unfashion- 
able to live in the town, and every one aspires to a 
villa in the suburbs. 

It was certainly far pleasanter of old to live in the 
town than it is now ; there was little bustle, noise, or 
confusion in the streets, and as many of the houses 
were built within courtyards or closes, with only their 
gables to the streets, and with lai^e gardens behind, 
with box-bordered walks, and plenty old, shady fruit 
trees, the occupants could obtain as much quiet and 
seclusion as if they were living in the country. Several 
houses of this description on both Church Street and 
Academy Street, were pulled down to make way for 
Union Street. In two of those thrown down on Churcb 
Street, on each side of a close, lived at one time Dr. 
Walker, and old " Miss Jeanie," aunt to The Maddn- 

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to^. Two of those done away with on Academy- 
Street, in a court with an arched entrance, are well 
remembered as having been the residences succes- 
sively of many well-known citizens ; among others 
General Mackenzie — better known as "Fightii^ Jack" 
— ^who afterwards' removed to that house approached 
by a flight of steps, a little further up the street on 
the opposite side, which is now converted into the 
offices of the East Coast Railway Company. This 
house used to be known as " Mr, Edwards' house," 
because it was built by Mr. Edwards, who was at one 
time Sheriff-Substitute in Inverness ; and the court 
near at hand is also named after him, " Edwards' 

In Mr. Edwards' house the old General resided 
till he died, and there, seated on the flight of steps 
leading to the door, might be seen every day his 
little dc^, Garrachan, the terror of every urchin in the 

The Station Hotel is built on the site of two hand- 
some and substantial houses, which were approached 
by flights of steps like that of Mr, Edwards, and were 
at one time the residences of Provost Grant and Pro- 
vost Gilzean, although after the former went to reside 
at the Bught, he used his rooms in town only as 
offices, to which he drove every morning, from his 
country mansion. 

At a later date, Mr. Prophet, solicitor, resided id 



Provost Grant's house in Academy Street, and many 
people in Inverness remember the sensation which 
was caused when Mr. Prophet's house went on fire one 
morning at early dawn, and some members of the 
family had to be carried in blankets to a relative's 
house, which fortunately was close at band. 

There were several very neat old-fashioned cottages 
between Provost Grant's house and the Academy, 
which were pulled down to make way for the railway 

Mr. Couper, solicitor, was the owner and occupant 
of the house on Academy Street where Mr. Strother 
now lives, and, if we are not mistaken, it was built by 
him. At a latter date it was occupied as the North of 
Scotland Bank, of which Mr. John Mactavish was 
agent, having for his partner, his brother-in-law, Mr. 
Sandy Mactavish, solicitor and town-clerk. 

What reminiscences of genial companionship, of 
sly humour and sparkling wit, of mirthful, free-and- 
easy gatherings such as one never hears of now, are 
awakened by these names 1 What capital stories 
Mr. Sandy Mactavish told ! What roars of laughter 
they elicited from those who sat around his hospitable 
board ! He used to tell one story about three clerks 
of his, who all squinted fr^htfully. One day, a Major 
in the army, who lived not far from Inverness, and 
who also had a bad squint, came into the office and 
inquired of the head clerk, a grave and solemn in- 

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dividual, whether Mr. Mactavish was within. " Upon 
my veracity, I cannot depone," was the pompous 
reply, accompanied by a squint, which the Major 
imagined was in ridicule of his own, so he turned 
wrathfuUy to the second man, who also replied with a 
squint, and then in a fuiy, he accosted the third, who 
behaved in the same manner. 

The Major considered that this was a climax be- 
yond endurance^ and he rushed into Mr. Mactavish's 
room, declaring that his three clerks had insulted him 
and deserved to be dismissed. Mr. Mactavish was 
completely mystified, and declared that they were all 
respectable men who were incapable of insulting any 
one, but at last the truth began to dawn on him, and 
he made haste to explain to bis visitor that there had 
been no intention to annoy, and that his clerks were 
doubtless quite ignorant of what had been the cause 
of his taking offence. 

After the death of Mr. John Mactavish in 1848, this 
branch of the North of Scotland Bank was altogether 
removed from Inverness, and the little stir and bustle 
which accompanied the goings in and out of the Bank 
having ceased. Academy Street now became quieter 
than ever — seldom enlivened by any sounds except 
when the boys and girls came pouring out of the 
Academy at four o'clock — so that living there seemed 
quite like living in the country. The opening of the 
Railway caused truly an immense change in what was 

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once the quietest and most secluded street in Inver- 

High Street also has undei^ne a good many 
changes. The old Town Hall to which we have 
already referred has become only a memory ; " Mac- 
dougall's " has got a handsome new frontage ; the 
Union Hotel, long presided over by Mr. Cockbum, has 
been transformed into the Highland Club ; and the 
shops of old Mr. Smith the bookseller, and Mr. Keith 
the watchmaker, have been pulled down to make way 
for the Young Men's Christian Association buildings. 

There have not been quite so many changes on 
Church Street (the principal one being the great 
additions to the Caledonian Hotel), although any 
Invernessian who had been away for twenty years, 
would see it also greatly altered 

The National Bank was built by Provost John 
Mackintosh, father of the late Mr. Charles Mackinto^ 
of Aberarder. In a recent Courier an allusion was 
made to a marvellous escape which Provost Mack- 
intosh made after the battle of Culloden. It is thus 
narrated in the Guide to Culloden Meor and Story of 
the Battle, 1867. 

"Being an infant of eighteen months old at the 
time of the Prince's stay in Inverness, he had been sent 
with his nurse to be out of the way, to a house some- 
where in the ndghbourhood of Culloden. A few days 
after the battle a parQr of dn^oons had gone into the 

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house in the nurse's absence, and, finding the child in 
a cradle, they, after pilling the house, placed the 
cradle with the infant in it on the fire. When found 
by the nurse, the embryo magistrate was a good deal 
scorched; and till his dyii^ day he bore the marlcs 
on his arm." 

Provost Maddntosb was one of a company of 
gentlemen who owned the " Alpin Factory " at the 
Shore ; and at the back of his house on Church street, 
he kept, on the site of what is now Mr. Rule's ofGce, 
several cows, which every morning were sent under 
the charge of an old man, ironically named "Teirlach 
Silileach " (the sharp-sighted, knowing and cunning 
Charlie), to graze on the ramparts near the Factory, 
and every night were conveyed home again by him. 
This old man lived at the back of the Bank House so 
as to take care of the cows. An aged lady on Church 
Street well remembers seeing Charlie coming up the 
street — followed by the jeers of beys who used to 
shout his nickname after him — and then turning down 
the lane with the Provost's cows. 

In later days, when Mr. Mackay was agent, the 
National Bank House was the scene of many a social 
gathering, enlivened not only by tiie wit of Sheriff 
Colquhoun, Doctor Nicol and Captain Finch, but by 
the magnificent voice of Banker Mackay himself, who 
sang Scotch songs to perfection — his rendering of " Oh, 
wert thou in the cauld blast," being specially famed. 

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The Commercial Bank was formerly a cabinet- 
maker's shop, while the rooms above were used as a 
private school, where many boys and girls used to go 
daily, at the early hour of seven in the morning, to get 
" coached " for the Academy, at which they had to 
appear by nine o'clock. Mr. Mactavish, the first 
agent for the Bank, was succeeded by Mr. Thomson, 
who resided there until he removed to Springfield, 
and the third agent was Mr. James Wilson, who 
also resided above the Bank except during the 
summer, which he always spent at Maryfield on the 
Mid mills road. 

The British Linen Company Bank also was at one 
time on Church Street, and the Bank of Scotland on 
Bank Street 

Church Street used to be a favourite neighbourhood 
for schools. A Mrs. Mitchell, the widow of an officer 
in the army, kept a ladies' boarding school veiy long 
Sigo is that house belonging to the late Mr. James 
Suter, wine merchant (author of the MemoraHlia of 
Inverness, which appeared in the Inverness Courier 
from January 31st to February 28th, 1822), the lower 
part of which is now converted into Mr. Ross's wine- 
shop. It was admirably adapted for a school, as 
there are a number of small apartments opening from 
the large ones, which served as bedrooms for the 
boarders. Little flights of steps ascend or descend 
to these tiny rooms ; and the whole house is full of 

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quaint little nooks and comers, which invest it with 
a. charm for anyone who is interested in whatever is 
connected with the past The principal schoolroom 
was a large attic, and there, seated at the head of 
a table round which the girls were ranged working at 
their samplers, Mrs. Mitchell, in order to combine 
recreation for them with lessons in elocution, used to 
read aloud to them from the popular novels of the 
day. Many a time has an aged lady (who came to 
spend her latter days in that very house where she 
had once attended school) recounted to the writer the 
thrilling delight and interest with which she used 
to listen to the reading aloud of 7"A« Children of 
the Abbey. 

In those days the house always went by the name 
of " Lady Kyllachy's House," as it had once been the 
residence of a Mrs. Mackintosh of Kyllachy, and by 
that name it continued to be known for many a year, 
although it had been occupied by many other families 
of good position. 

The house on the opposite side of the close is not 
so old. It was built by Mr. James Suter's father, 
who had been a wine merchant like himself, and it 
had only just been completed when the gunpowder 
explosion occurred in the buildings on the site of the 
Northern Meeting Rooms, in consequence of which 
every pane of glass in Mr. Suter's new house was 
shivered into atoms. The powder had actually been 



kept above a tallow manufactory, and the tallow 
chandler, while enjoying a glass with a friend, had 
allowed his kettle of tallow to boil over into the fire, 
and the flame, reaching the ceiling, caused the ex- 
plosion. There were several people killed. Among 
them was a young lady (Miss Fraser, Fanellan), who 
had started for a walk with her sister ; but the latter 
having accidentally splashed some water out of a 
pool on the street over her open-work cotton stock- 
ings and sandalled prunella slippers, turned back to 
change them, and thus her life was saved. Her 
sister was found with a copy of the Pilgrim's Pro- 
gress in her hand. 

Mrs. Gibson, an accomplished widow, kept a school 
at a later date than Mrs. Mitchell, above the shop 
latterly occupied for so many years by Mr. Morel ; 
and a number of young ladies, the daughters of 
landed proprietors, were boarded with her. Her 
sons distinguished themselves in India, but they are 
long since dead. Their names may be read in the 
old prize lists of the Inverness Academy. 

At a still more recent date, the Misses Camaby 
kept a good boarding and day school in the old 
house on Church Street, where the late Dalmigavie 
was bom and where he also died, but which was 
rented from him during the period when he and 
Miss Johanna resided at Seabank. 

There are two buildings on Church Street, however. 

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of much greater age — Dunbar's Hospital and the 
house immediately beloW| the shop of Mr. Kenneth 
Fraser, baker. The latter has the date 1700, the 
letters I.D., and the devices of a thistle and a star 
inscribed above the windows. Dunbar's Hospital 
has the Dunbar Arms and the date 1676 above the 
doorway, and several texts are inscribed above the 
upper windows. Above one of the texts is the date 
166S. This curious old building has been used suc- 
cessively for many different purposes. In Cameron's 
History and Description of the Town of Inverness 
[1S46], to which we have already alluded, it is spoken 
of as the " Old Academy " — by which name it con- 
tinued to be designated for many years after it had 
been put to other uses — and is thus described : " An 
ancient-looking house, said to have been built of the 
materials of Cromwell's Fort, with a large garden 
behind. It was bequeathed to the community as 
an hospital by Provost Alexander Dunbar in 1668, 
but was afterwards used as a grammar school till 
the opening of the Royal Academy in 1792, when 
its funds were paid over to that institution, and now 
continues to be amalgamated with it in the form of 
an annual grant from the town. The building was 
then divided to serve as a parish library, female 
school, female work society rooms, &c, the ground 
floor being occupied by the fire-engines of the 
town. During the time the cholera raged in Inver- 



ness, part of it again served the purpose of an 

It was afterwards converted into a poorhouse, and 
continued to be used as such until the present building 
was erected in i860. The writer remembers having 
frequently seen the old paupers seated at the grated 
windows looking out into School Lane, having their 
monotonous Hves cheered by a peep at the passers by. 
Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh, M.P., in his interesting 
Antiquarian Notes, alludes to both the old houses 
which we have last described, in the list that he gives 
of curious inscriptions; and there are excellent engrav- 
ings given in his Invemessiana of Dunbar's Hospital 
and another old house on Church Street, which is 
situated in AbertarfT's Close, below the Commercial 
Bank, and is well worthy of a visit The latter is the 
last remaining of those of which there were once a 
good many in Inverness (one of them in the Castle 
Wynd having been done away with only a few years 
since) — houses with a semi-cylindrical stone appen- 
dage projecting outwards, inside which a turnpike 
staircase conducts to the entrance on the first floor. 
This house, which is now divided into several dwelling 
places, with various entrances, belonged at one time 
to Mr. Suter, wine merchant (senior), who had pur- 
chased it from Mr. Warrand of Warrandfield. Colonel 
Archibald Fraser of Lovat (son of the famous Lord 
Lovat of the '45, and grandfather of the late Mr. 

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Fraser of Abertarff), who was generally spoken of 
as " Old Archie " or " Old Lovat " — the country 
people pronouncing his name " Lo-vat " — took a 
great fancy to buy it, as it had a large garden 
behind it with a flight of steps leading down to 
the river — a garden whose fine old apple trees used 
to prove an Irresistible temptation to the young sons 
of Bishop Macfarlane, who lived on the site of the 
Commercial Bank. " Old Lovat " had always a great 
dread of a French invasion, and he fancied that in 
the event of the enemy coming to Inverness he could 
easily make his escape at the back entrance and get 
into a boat which would convey him to Beauly. He 
employed his factor, Mr. Lockhart Kinloch, to nego- 
tiate the transaction for him without mentioning his 
name in the matter at all ; and Mr. Suter, imagining 
that Mr. Kinloch wanted the house for himself, and 
being anxious to oblige him, sold it to him for five 
or six hundred pounds, which made Lovat chuckle 
with delight and say, " The man must be a fool to 
sell it at that price," as he had expected to pay a 
thousand. However, as he never slept in the house 
but one night afterwards, he may be presumed to 
have benefited but slightly by his bargain. 

Old Lovat was remarkably whimsical and ready 
to take offence. Various amusing anecdotes regard- 
ing him are related in Munro's Recollections of 
Inverness by an Invemessian, 1863 ; but there is 

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one characteristic story which has not hitherto ap- 
peared in print On one occasion, having heard that 
one of the principal merchants in Inverness (whose 
house he generally made a resting-place when he had 
walked into town from his residence at the Crown) 
had remarked that he was a "queer fish," he sent for 
him, and after purposely keeping him waiting for two 
hours, at last made his appearance, and found the 
visitor trying to pass his time (which of course was 
precious to him, and which he chafed at losing) in 
walking round the dining-room and examining the 
pictures which hung upon the walls. Lovat, without 
making any apolt^y for his prolonged absence, joined 
in the promenade, and pointed out the beauties of the 
various paintings. At last they stopped opposite a 
curious looking picture of a fish. " What do you 
think of that picture ? " said Lovat " Is it not a 
queer-looking fish ? " " Very queer-looking indeed," 
said the unsuspecting merchant. " But you think 
Lovat a queerer fish still," said old Archie, suddenly 
altering his tones and shouting as loudly and angrily 
as he could, while his eyes blazed and his fist was 
shaken in his visitor's face. After this demonstration 
of wrath, he rapidly strode from the room, banging 
the door loudly after him, and from that day not 
only withdrew his custom entirely from the mer- 
chant's shop, but never exchanged words with 
him again. 

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Another building on Church Street, St John's 
Church, has had a very varied history, and has 
gone through more vicissitudes than almost any of 
the churches in Inverness ; for, notwithstanding the 
many changes which have occurred in Inverness 
during the last thirty-five years, there have been 
comparatively few in connection with many of the 
churches. For very many years Doctor Macdonald 
has been the minister of the High Church, and Doc- 
tor Mackay of the Free North ; and it seems but a 
short time since the long ministry ceased of Doctor 
Scott in the United Presbyterian Church, of Mr. 
Macgregor in the West Church, and of Mr. Suther- 
land in the Free East Although there have been 
more changes in the Free High Church, still, there 
have been only three clei^men settled there since 
the time of Mr. Thorburn ; and for a very long time 
indeed Mr. Dawson has been priest in the Roman 
Catholic Chapel. 

The numerous changes of St John's Episcopal 
Church, however, have been such as to entitle it to 
a longer and more sensational history that can be 
given in these pages. Since the time when Dean 
Fyvie was obliged to resign from ill health, there 
have been eight regular incumbents in St. John's — 
not to speak of various clergymen who were eng^ed 
at different times to preach for a year or six months, 
during a vacancy of the incumbency. There has also 

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been a more complete change in the congregation 
than has been the case in any other church in 
Inverness, since the time of the Disruption. 

When Dean Fyvie resigned in 1848, two clergymen 
were invited to preach on trial, in St John's, for some 
length of time. One of them was a Mr. Smith, and 
the other was Mr. James Mackay, a native of Inver- 
ness. The latter had come over from America (where 
he had a charge in Connecticut) to pay a short visit 
to his native land. His preaching and manners gave 
such general satisfaction that he was appointed in- 
cumbent, and (having returned to America for his 
wife and children) he soon settled down in his native 
town among relations and old friends. 

The days of Mr. Fyvie and Mr. Mackay were the 
palmy days of St John's Church. No Cathedral had 
then been even dreamt of, and the " English Chapel " 
— as St John's was then called — was crowded to its 
doors ; and it was sometimes a difficult matter to get 
out after service, the aisles being so closely thronged 
with the people pouring through them. The congre- 
gation was, however, almost entirely composed of 
descendants of old Episcopalians who latterly had 
worshipped in the " old St John's," a building oppo- 
site to the Gaelic Church at the foot of Church Street 
The "old St John's" was built about the year 1801, 
was surmounted by a cupola, and cost £1000. A 
remnant of one of its walls still exists. 

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The foundation-stone of the " new St. John's " was 
laid on the 31st March, 1837, by the Rev. Charles 
Fyvie, in presence of the Provost and Magistrates of 
the town, and the church was finished and opened in 
July, 1838, its building having cost about ;f20oa 
The architecture owed much to Mr. Fyvie's well- 
known fine taste. The roof is modelled on that of 
Henry the Seventh's Chapel in Westminster Abbey. 
In the eyes of the congregation who at that time 
worshipped within its walls, the beautiful, comfort- 
able, and quiet little church, with its simplicity, and 
soft, subdued light, was considered perfect 

In Mr. Peter Anderson's Guide to Inverness it is 
stated that " The congregation of St John's is the 
representative of one of old standing in Inverness, 
and which continued to preserve a nucleus of wor- 
shippers, after the manner of their fathers, throughout 
the period of proscription, in the last century, on 
account of the Jacobite leanings of the adherents to 
Episcopacy, whose hierarchy and clergy were non- 
jurors. The Invemessians generally were so ardently 
attached to Episcopacy at the period of the final 
establishment of the Presbyterian Church, that the 
first settlement, in 1691, required the presence of a 
regiment of the line sent north for the occasion." 
Even since the lines just quoted were penned in 
1868, by one who was for many years secretary and 
treasurer of St John's, and one of its most attached 

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supporters, the church has undergone many changes, 
but the minute history of all the events which have 
occurred in connection with St John's and its various 
incumbents since the days of Mr. Fyvie would astonish 
most of the congregation who now worship within 
its walls, were it to be detailed to them, and would 
prove more entertaining than many a sensation novel! 

In former days Presbyterians sometimes came to 
attend the service on Good Friday, Easter, or Christ- 
mas Day, but not on any other occasions, until Mr. 
Mackay began his Wednesday evening lectures, which 
proved particularly attractive to the public, although 
preceded by a most unpretentious and simple ritual. 

At the present day the congregation of St. John's 
is composed, with very few exceptions, of strangers 
who have settled in the town withinabout the last dozen 
years, and of Invemessians whose parents or grand- 
parents were Presbyterians. Of those who really sat 
within the walls of St. John's in the days of Mr. Fyvie, 
only about four sit within them now. Some have left 
Inverness, a few have become Presbj-terians, many 
more have joined the Cathedral, but by far the greater 
part are dead. 

Even the Cathedral itself is filled mostly with the 
children of Presbyterians, but on it we will not touchj 
as it is connected only with modem Inverness, and 
has no old associations. 

In most of the Presbyterian churches in Inverness 



nearly all the members of the congregation can feel 
that their parents worshipped there before them, if 
not in the same pew where they sit themselves, yet 
in some pew the sight of which recalls remi- 
niscences of former days. But in St John's who can 
now feel thus ? Not only are the tenants of the old 
pews gone, but the old pews themselves (hallowed by 
many an old association) have been swept away — the 
side galleries have become a thing of the past ! And 
if we remarked in a former chapter that among the 
leaders of fashion in Inverness there are very few 
that could tell who held the same place thirty years 
ago which they hold now, we may as safely affirm 
that among those who now fill the most prominent 
places in St John's, there are, indeed, few that could 
tell who occupied the chief seats there, not only 
thirty, but even so recently as twenty years ago. And 
yet there are Invernessians scattered all over the 
globe who can vividly recall the days when the 
stately form of " Banker John," the acknowledged 
prince of Inverness society, stepped regularly every 
Sunday into the Ness House pew in the front gallery, 
accompanied by his wife and family ; while in the 
adjoining pew, those two shrewd, straightforward 
ladies of the old school, Mrs. Fraser, Ness Cottage, 
and her daughter "Miss Eliza" — the widow and 
daughter of " old Stoneyfield " — might always be seen 
in their large tippets of Chinchilla fur, reaching far 

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below their waists, and the former with a Lai^e black 
satin reticule suspended at her side. 

One of the two gallery pews immediately below 
the oi|^n was occupied by the aristocratic-looking 
Sheriff Tytler of Aldourie, and the other by the 
venerable and accomplished Mr. James BailUe Fraser 
of Relig, the author of a number of books illustrative 
of Persian life and manners. The crimson rays from 
the stained-glass window gleamed on many a Christ- 
mas and Easter day on the long, silvery locks of the 
old Sheriff as they flowed over his drab overcoat, and 
on the pleasant face, white hair, and striped brown 
and yellow waistcoat of Relig as he sat by the side of 
his equally venerable-looking wife in her close satin 
bonnet and soft shawl. In the gallery also might be 
seen the kind faces of Doctor and Mrs. Munro, View- 
mount, and the elegant forms and radiant eyes of 
their daughters, not far distant from the pew of their 
intimate friends "handsome Colquhoun" and his 
graceful wife. No gallery pew was ever empty in 
those days. Old Lady Saltoun, old Dunmaglass, 
Mr. Baillie of Leys, and Mr. White of Monar, all 
rented pews there for a long period, and so did the 
strong-minded Miss Campbell (tenant of Kilravock 
Castle), and Mr. John Dunbar (tenant of what is now 
called Holme Rose), the latter of whom often drove 
to church with four horses and a postillion. 

Down below, in a front pew facing the readtng- 

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desk, might be seen the military figure and snow- 
white hair of old General Mackenzie, "Fighting 
Jack," seated beside his aged wife and sister-in-law, 
in their grey-satin poke bonnets and lat^e frilled 
collars reaching to their shoulders, and with their 
eyes never raised from their prayer-books whoever 
might come in or go out, or however emphatically 
the General might grunt or knock the end of his 
heavy walking-stick on the floor when some particular 
part of the sermon met with his approval. In a side 
pew not far distant beamed the pleasant, homely face 
of old " Miss Jeanie " (aunt to The Mackintosh), and 
all around might be seen the families of Mr. Duff of 
Muirtown, Colonel Mackintosh of Farr, Mr. Fraser 
of Bunchrew, Colonel Houston of Castlehill, &c, and 
others who had less connection with Inverness, such 
as the Wardlaw Ramsays, the Luxfords, the Enderbys, 
and the Piries. Major (afterwards Colonel) Green- 
wood, who for so very long a period spent a great 
part of every year in Inverness, was a strong adherent 
of St. John's, and so was Captain Shervington, the 
recruiting officer, who was generally accompanied by 
his friend Captain Wra^e. There were also many 
persons of marked individuality among the congrega- 
tion, who are still well remembered in Inverness. 
Among them were the mysterious Captain Finch, 
wrapped in his tartan plaid ; old Miss Wapshott, 
whose appearance and dress denoted her extreme 



eccentricity ; and Mrs, Stalker Ross, who always used 
an Italian prayer-book in church, and who is alleged, 
after leaving Inverness, to have written a novel of 
which the scene was laid at Viewmount, and the 
heroine was Miss Eliza Munro — now Mrs. Colonel 

To enumerate and minutely describe all who filled 
the pews in the " English Chapel " in those days 
would fill too much space. Of Mrs. Fyvie a sketch 
is given in another chapter, but we must not omit to 
mention worthy Mr. and Mrs. Strachan (natives of 
Aberdeenshire), who for very many years performed 
all the offices in connection with St John's, which 
the present pew-oper»er has now singly to fulfil. Old 
"Johnny Strachan's" name seems so linked with that 
of kind and courteous Mr. Fyvie, that we cannot think 
of the handsome and dignified Dean without his de- 
voted retainer being recalled to the recollection. The 
worthy old man used always to assist the Dean to 
put on and off his surplice, and to accompany him up 
the pulpit stairs to close the door behind him. He 
was very venerable looking, with white hair, a gentle 
expression, and respectful manner. By trade he was 
a cabinetmaker, and he had a great talent for carving 
in wood. The lid of the font in Sl John's is a speci- 
men of old Strachan's carving, and it is most wonder- 
ful when we consider that it was the workmanship of 
a self-taught and ^ed man. The font itself, with its 

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finely-cut bunches of grapes, was the work of the late 
John Batchen, stonecutter. 

Mrs. Strachan, who survived her husband until 
1866, was a neat, slim little woman, active, energetic, 
shrewd, and with the true Aberdonian accent She was 
always dressed in black— her clothes being generally 
supplied by a widow lady in the congregation — and her 
favourite Sunday garb was a very short black dress, a 
black woollen shawl, checked with white stripes, a deep 
linen collar reaching to her shoulders, and a black poke 
bonnet Her little room was always exquisitely clean, 
and she was much gratified when any of the con- 
gregation paid her a visit Several members of the 
congregation used to take great pleasure in packing a 
basket every Christmas Eve and Easter Eve with tea, 
sugar, and meat for Mr. and Mrs. Strachan. It was 
also the custom on every Christmas and Easter Day 
for each head of a family in St John's to slip half-a- 
crown or five shillings into Mrs, Strachan's hand, and 
all the congregation used, on those days, to shake 
hands cordially with herself and her worthy husband. 
On the Sundays following the Northern Meeting 
week and the Wool Market week, so many strangers 
used to attend St John's that they almost always 
gave Mrs. Strachan some money to coax her to pro- 
cure good sittings for them, which will give one a 
better idea than anything else of how crowded St 
John's was in those times. On these days Mrs. 



Strachan often carried home with her a bag of half- 
crowns. She was thus enabled to save a little store 
of money, and at her death bequeathed the sum of 
;f20 to St John's Church. When the worthy old 
woman died, several of the vestrymen followed her as 
mourners to her last resting-place beside her husband, 
underneath a weeping willow in the graveyard which 
surrounds the old High Church. 

There was another character in St John's, who went 
by the name of "Amen," for his duties as a clerk 
seemed to consist almost entirely in pronouncing this 
word in as loud, lengthened and mournful tones as he 
could. This clerk, Macdonald, had a first-rate ear for 
music and a good voice, and for some time he held a 
singing class in town, which his low chaises enabled 
many of the humbler classes to attend. 

Mr. Morine was the ot^anist in those days, and a 
splendid organist he was, though there was very little 
music in St John's then, compared to what there is 

In those days the clei^man preached in the black 
gown, instead of the surplice, and no hymns were ever 
used except Bishop Ken's morning hymn with which 
the service always commenced ; his evening hymn, 
with which the afternoon service always ended ; and 
the hymns commencing with " Hark, the Herald 
Angels sing," and "Jesus Christ is risen to-day," 
which were invariably sung at Christmas and Easter, 



the former one to that beautiful old air which now is 
never heard. The psalms in metre, at the end of the 
prayer-book, were sung every Sunday instead of 
hymns ; and above the organ's strains might be heard 
the rich voice of Mr. John Hunter, one of a family 
renowned for talent and beauty. 

There were no such things as Christmas or Easter 
decorations, and the Communion was held only on 
the first Sunday of each month, when there was a 
collection for the poor. There was no weekly offertory 
collected after the service, but there was a large plate 
at the door every Sunday, beside which the vestrymen 
kept guard by turns, as the congr^ation entered the 
church, and into which only the heads of families were 
expected to drop a piece of silver. This plate could 
be seen distinctly by those passing down to the other 
churches, and many a salutation was exchanged be- 
tween passers-by and the vestrymen in chaise. 

One of the last of the old vestrymen to pass away 
(after attaining the great age of ninety-one) was worthy 
Mr. James Fraser (the tenant at one time of Parks 
of Inshes and afterwards of the united farms of Cradle- 
hall and Drumrosaig), whose familiar figure and kind, 
shrewd face were seen beside the plate during many a 
long year; who gave many a bow and wave of the hand 
to Presbyterian friends as they passed down to the 
High Church, and stopped many a fellow-vestryman 
for a chat as they passed him in the porch on their 

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way into the chapel. Many and many a tale could 
' Mr. Fraser tell of " old St John's " at the foot of 
Church Street, and of its old adherents, especially 
"old Stoneyfield," who could not endure to dine with- 
out company, and made an agreement with another 
staunch old Episcopalian (the writer's grandfather) 
that they should dine tc^ether alternately at each 
other's houses, for several days in each week — which 
custom was kept up as long as they lived. 

Mr. Fyvie and Mr, Mackay, and their two suc- 
cessors, Mr. Mooney and Mr. Swinburne, were quite 
ready to baptize or marry in a private dwelling-house 
instead of in church, and there are some families who 
still cherish the old-fashioned china bowl which was 
used by gentle Mr, Fyvie when performing the bap- 
tisms in their households, and which was afterwards 
used for the younger members by Mr. Mackay. Mr. 
Fyvie had a room in his house at Roseheath set apart 
for the baptisms and marriages of persons in the 
humbler ranks of life. It was a frequent occurrence 
for parties of tinkers from the Black Isle to come to 
Roseheath requesting him to perform either of these 
ceremonies. In Mr. Mackay's time, however, the 
tinkers seemed to prefer the honour and glory of 
being married in church, and on these occasions Mr, 
Mackay has sometimes been obliged to leave the table 
of a friend with whom he was dining, and proceed to 
St John's, accompanied by the children of his host, 

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who were always delighted at the prospect of being 
present at a tinker wedding. 

At confirmations no veil or white dress was re- 
quired, only a little cap, and often not even that, but 
simply the braided hair ; and the candidates (if they 
preferred it) were permitted to sit in their own pews, 
with their parents, until their turn to be led up to 
Bishop Low. Confirmation was not performed at so 
early an age as at present ; it very rarely took place 
before eighteen, and any Presbyterian who married a 
member of St John's was permitted to communicate 
regularly without having been confirmed. 

There was a class of children held around the 
railing of the communion table every Sunday, after 
the afternoon service, by Mr. Mackay all the time he 
was in St. John's, and by several of his successors 
His immediate successor, the Rev. Peter Mooney, a 
venerable-looking and most amiable man, conducted 
a class of young people in their teens, every Wednes- 
day at three o'clock, when he gave a short lecture 
from the pulpit and questioned them upon it 

There was also a very good library for both young 
and old in the vestry, the books in which belonged to 
Mr. Fyvie, and which his widow permitted to remain 
there after his death. When she died, they were sold 
by auction, along with her furniture. 

Mr. Mackay was a great favourite with the Right 
Reverend David Low, LL.D., who had succeeded 

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Mrs. Fyvie's father, Bishop Macfarlane, as Bishop of 
Moray and Ross, and whose home was at one time in 
Inverness above a chemist's shop on the site of the 
present Bank of Scotland, but who latterly resided at 
the Priory of Pittenweem, near Anstruther, Fifeshire, 
tt^ether with Captain Walker, brother of Bishop 
Walker of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Bishop 
Low was incumbent of the chapel at Pittenweem for 
a long time, but latterly he appointed the Rev, Mr. 
Blatch .to officiate for him. 

Mr. Mackay was often the guest of Bishop Low, 
and the latter advised him to become a candidate for 
the See of Moray and Ross, in the event of his own 
failing health necessitating the appointment of a co- 
adjutor and successor. Mr. Mackay acted on this 
suggestion in iSgi. He was opposed by only one 
other candidate — the present Primus, who was at 
that time the Rev. Mr. Eden, rector of Leigh, in 
Essex. The contest was a close and exciting one, 
and the election (which took place at Elgin) was 
immediately followed by the resignation of Bishop 

From that time the congregation of St John's 
ceased to be a united one, Mr. Mackay's supporters 
remained with him, while those who had favoured Mr. 
E>den gradually withdrew, and formed a new congre- 
gation in the Mission Chapel, which is now converted 
into the Advertiser Office. The real decadence of SL 

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John's, however, may be said to have begun from the 
time when Mr. Mackay (now the Rev. Doctor Aberigh- 
Mackay) sailed for India in 1856. 

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were the days of strongly-marked 
iduality of character ; people did 
then appear to be moulded after 
ame pattern as they are now, but 
had peculiar traits by which they a>uld be distin- 
guished among a multitude. There existed then 
(more especially in the North of Scotland) a race who, 
by a mixture of shrewdness and simplicity and an 
eccentricity of manner and dress, had gained the title 
of ' characters,' and yet who all differed more com* 
pletely from one another than any two people in 
modem fashionable society appear to differ now. 

Foremost among the ' characters ' of Inverness were 
the Laird of Dalrotgavie and his sister Miss Mackin- 
tosh, better known as " Mr. Eneas and Miss Johanna," 
and sometimes styled (though no one can tell 
why) "Ananias and Sapphira". It Is but a short time 
since they both passed away in the old house on 
Church Street, but there are none among the rising 
generation who can remember the time when they 
both took a prominent place in Inverness society. 

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when Miss Johanna's morning calls were hailed with 
delight in many a drawing-room, and Mr. Eneas, by 
his flashes of wit and humour, enlivened many a 
dinner party. 

Miss Johanna was a general favourite. She de- 
lighted in going out to dinner or tea, in paying calls, 
and in entertaining her friends at her own house. 
Her parties were most enjoyable, from their uncon- 
ventionality and the good humour and mirth which 
the hostess always seemed to impart to her guests, 
although she was very particular as to the precedence 
which must be taken, often calling out to the servant, 
" Oh 1 you must not help Mr. So and So first — he is 
not the principal guest ". 

She always insisted on a number of tunes being 
played on the old piano, and a number of songs being 
sung, during which her own cheerful chatter rippled 
on without intermission, and the entertainment, 
whether it was a dinner or tea party, always wound up 
with a sumptuous supper, to which she most ener- 
getically pressed every one to do justice. 

On one occasion she invited to one of her evening 
parties a young man who belonged to a very musical 
family — one of the sons in particular being noted for 
his performances on several different musical instru- 
ments. After tea, Miss Johanna announced to the 
assembled guests that they must now prepare for a 
great treat, as she was going to ask Mr. to give 

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them " a tune on the piano". The young gentleman 
in question interposed that he was veiy sorry to dis- 
appoint her, but that, although his brother was an 
admirable musician, he himself could not play a single 
note. " Oh,good«*xr / " Miss Johanna instantly cried 
out in dismay, " I have asked the wrong one It was 
not you that I wanted at all ; it was your brother." 

Of children Miss Johanna was particularly fond, and 
she used to load them with presents, and give special 
parties for their amusement, when they were per- 
mitted to ramble all over her house and examine the 
curiosities with which it was crowded. 

To her lady friends she was most outspoken, letting 
them know if she considered their personal appearance 
unprepossessing, their manners affected, or their 
chances of matrimony few, but to her favourites 
among them she was often most generous, presenting 
them with such costly gif^ as silk dresses, sable muffs, 
and gold brooches. If any Inverness young man 
called to bid her goodbye before going abroad, she 
liked to s)ip a five or ten pound note into his hand, or 
order a handsome plaid to be sent him from Mac- 
dougall's to serve as a wrap on his journey. 

In the days when she could go about among her 
friends, a piece of local gossip — such as a marriage 
where there was any dispari^ of age or position- 
was to her ears as the mUsic of the spheres, her 
favourite expression on hearing of it being "Goodness/ " 



(the emphasis always laid on the second syllable). 
But her greatest delight was in attending all the 
furniture sales, where she generally bought quantities 
of things for which she could have no possible use, 
and which were often complete rubbish. At these 
sales she was always attended by her little white curly 
d(^ Carlos ; and her ample form clad in rich trailing 
silks and velvets (carelessly and crookedly put on), and 
her beaming face beneath its gorgeous bonnet, were 
as familiar to the public who attended these places as 
the form and face of the auctioneer. 

Miss Johanna was very fond of needlework, and 
often made articles for bazaiars, as well as clothes for 
the poor, but she read nothing except her Bible and 
the local newspapers, until during the latter years of 
her life, when she devoted herself to a species of 
literature which she styled " Doctors' Books". The 
perusal of these caused her to imagine that she was 
afflicted with nearly all the complaints described 
therein, and to send for all the doctors in town by 
turns, in the hope that they could cure her, banning 
again, as soon as they had all visited her, with the 
first one she had employed, till she had gone through 
the round as before. The parting gifts which, at this 
period of her existence, she bestowed on friends 
leaving Inverness, took the form of " Doctors' Books" 
instead of money or tartan plaids t 

For many years before her death her unique parties 

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and cheery morning calls were given up, but as long 
as she could sit (wrapped in a dozen jackets and 
shawls) on the old sofa near the fireplace in the 
dining-room, she gave her old cordial good-humoured 
greeting to any one who called to see her, and insisted 
not only on a glass of wine and a piece of cake being 
taken, but on the wine being poured out by her own 
feeble shaking hand. Genial and hospitable, she 
tried to keep up all her old kindly customs, till her 
failing limbs could no longer support her down stairs, 
till old age and weakness clouded her brain and 
obliterated her memory, and she could no 4onger 
recognise or take pleasure in the visits of the children 
of her early friends. 

Mr. Eneas survived his sister only a few weeks. 
Although of fully as sociable a nature as she was, in 
other things he was widely different, for he had a much 
greater depth of intellect, and was so well read in the 
literature of past ages, that he has been styled a 
" dungeon of learning ". His delight was in anti- 
quarian lore, and he was well versed in all the super- 
stitions and traditions of the Highlands and in the 
histories of all the old Highland families. He was 
always particularly anxious to obtain fresh information 
regarding his favourite studies, and listened with as 
eager interest to anything which threw fresh light on 
some old custom or ceremony, as his sister did to some 
bit of local gossip. 

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While Miss Johanna delighted in handsome and 
costly clothing, Mr. Eneas forgot that there could be 
a necessity for ever renovating his wardrobe at all, 
and while she was generous and open-handed, he 
grudged laying out money for any purpose, even for 
buying sufficient food to nourish himself, and lived on 
the plainest possible fare. His feelings, however, were 
deeper than hers, and he had the most devoted 
attachment for several of his early friends and for all 
the localities connected with his boyhood. Although 
he had many acquaintances, he had selected very few 
friends, but to these he always remained faithful. 
Simple and homely in his tastes and habits, he shrank 
from all affectation and ostentation in others ; genuine 
and straightforward himself, he was quick to detect 
inconsistency and insincerity ; genial and enthusiastic, 
he was easily repelled by coldness and formality. 

To see Dalmigavie at his best and in his element, 
was to see him at the dinner-table of some old school- 
fellow and friend whose society he loved, who had 
patience with all his peculiarities, and who treated him 
with an affectionate attention and consideration which 
was denied him by a later generation when all his old 
contemporaries were gone It was a picture to see 
the old man when his host had introduced one of his 
favourite subjects. He used to bend forward with his 
hands stretched across the table, and with his strongly 
marked features lighted up and glowing with eager- 

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ness and enthusiasm ; and by the time he had finished 
his first tumbler (for these were the days when toddy 
drinking after dinner had not been exploded), he 
was ready to launch forth with rapidity into his old 
reminiscences, which, however long they might last, no 
one might interrupt with impunity. 

No one ever delighted more intensely in dining out 
among congenial society than he did, particularly if it 
were in the country, where he might during the 
evening take a stroll through the fields, for he fully 
appreciated rural pleasures. He was passionately 
fond of Scotch music, in fact had no toleration for 
any other; and as several of the ladies whom he used 
to meet out at dinner, played it with taste and skill, 
his delight in those social gatherings was greatly en- 
hanced by listening to their performances. His 
favourite air was " The Mackintoshes' Lament," and 
he used to listen to it with the most profound attention, 
keeping time with hand and foot, and as soon as it 
was over, demanding ptbrochs, reels, and strathspeys 
in quick succession. He was a great consumer of 
snuflr at all times, but on occasions when he was 
absorbed in listening to some favourite pibroch or to 
some story of old times, he used to take particularly 
laige quantities and allow it to drop all over his 
clothes and on the floor. 

There was one peculiarity which gained more local 
celebrity for him than any other he possessed, and 

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that was his love for making proposals of marriage. 
There was hardly a lady of his acquaintance who had 
not at some period received one of his love-letters, for 
his proposals were always made in writing, and never 
by word of mouth — his manner to the female sex 
being generally drier and colder than to his own. So 
much, indeed, was this the case, that he often at a 
dinner party treated with a semblance of almost con- 
temptuous indiBerence some lady to whom on the 
previous evening he had sent an epistle breathing the 
most despairing and ardent devotion. His hand- 
writing was the most extraordinary and illegible ever 
beheld, and his letters were usually written on the 
inside of an envelope or on some torn piece of paper. 
Those containing proposals, instead of being posted, 
were generally slipped under the hall door, after he 
had hovered in the vicinity for some time, in order to 
muster sufficient courage to approach the house. The 
wording of those proposals was quite as peculiar as 
the handwriting. He wrote to one lady inquiring if 
either she or her sister were willing to accept him (his 
feelings towards them being alike), but hoping, in the 
event of their not being so, he might get a speedy 
reply, as he had another (whom he named) in view. 
Another lady, the evening before her marriage, found 
a letter under the door, telling her that "it was not 
yet too late to think of marrying him, and that an old 
friend was better than a stranger " ; while her mother. 

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a widow, received a note from him on anotlier occa- 
sion containing merely the words, " Have pity on my 
loneliness, or I shall throw myself into an hotel". 
One young lady, who sometimes came to visit friends 
in Inverness, had inspired him with such admiration 
that he not only wrote frequent love-letters to her, 
but used to watch for her at the comer of the Suspen- 
sion Bridge, and without having the coura^^e to speak 
to her, used to follow her like a shadow everywhere 
she went, until at last she dreaded going out of doors. 
He sometimes used to write rambling epistles breathing 
Platonic admiration to various young married ladies, 
but widows were the favourite objects of his adora- 

Mr. Eneas never could be persuaded to have his 
portrait taken ; he had a great dislike to the idea of 
its being exhibited in public, particularly after having 
one day come suddenly upon a caricature of himself 
in his long blue cloak, in one of the booksellers' win- 
dows. This had been sketched by an artist who 
visited Inverness before the days of photographs, and 
the discovery rankled deeply in the old man's mind, 
for he was more sensitive than most people imagined. 

During the last dozen years of his life, his evenings 
were generally spent in complete solitude, as his 
sister always retired very early to rest, and — all his 
old contemporaries having passed away — the new 
generation had either foi^otten the old man's love for 

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social gatherings or imagined that his old reminis- 
cences would be out of place at their formal and 
fashionable entertainments. And doubtless Mr. 
Eneas would have felt himself out of place there, and 
would have experienced a deeper desolation and lone- 
liness than even at his own fireside, for he belonged 
to a past age when heartiness and humour were the 
characteristics of dinner parties, and when congenial 
friends met together, not for fashion's sake, but to 
enjoy one another's society. He would not have un- 
derstood the manners and customs of modem society, 
he would have suffered mar^rdom by listening to 
classical music, and he would have pined for the 
genial tones and familiar faces which used to make 
those old gatherings have such a charm for him. To 
the very last, however, he was delighted to meet an 
acquaintance on the street, and used, even there, to 
pour forth his old reminiscences at such length as to 
appal any one who was pressed for time. Who can 
foi^et his eager face, his peculiar gait, his hearty clasp 
of the hand ? It even yet seems difficult to realise 
that never more will be seen on the streets of Inver- 
ness that remarkable figure, which, through all the 
varying phases of fashion, retained the same antique 
coat, huge black stock, high shirt collar, and long 
military cloak 1 

Mr. Eneas took his sister's death much to heart, 
although intellectually she had never been a com- 

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panion for him, and had, for the last few years of her 
existence, been quite dead to the world. In a very 
short time after she had passed away, he was laid to 
rest by her side in the Chapel yard. 

Although he never ceased to grudge the procuring 
of necessary comforts for himself, he subscribed, 
during the last few years of his life, most liberally and 
heartily, to every scheme in connection with the Free 
High Church, of which he was a devoted adherent, 
and which he attended as long as his feeble limbs 
could support him there. When confined to bed by his 
last illness, he never omitted to send his contribution to 
the usual weekly church-door collection. When any 
one connected with his own church came to see him, 
he always took the opportunity to slip into his visitor's 
hand half-a-crown or five shillings wrapped in a piece 
of newspaper ; and to say, " Put this into the plate on 
Sunday for me ". 

Through all the course of his long life, he was never 
known to utter a remark which could cause pain, or 
to listen willingly to anything which was to the detri- 
ment of another. He never made an enemy, and had 
manned to secure the lasting attachment of a few 
true friends. Among those who laughed at his pecu- 
liarities, and even ridiculed the sensitive old man 
before his face, there were probably few who were 
able to appreciate his learning or the powers of his 

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Mrs. Fyvie, wife of the Dean and daughter of a 
former Bishop of the Diocese, was another of the 
"characters" of Inverness, and was one of the 
kindest, most strong-minded, and most unconven- 
tional of women. Probably no member of the female 
sex was ever more indifferent to fashion and personal 
appearance than she was, and yet she must have been 
a fine-looking woman at the time when she was Miss 
Duff Macfarlane, and she retained, even to extreme 
old age, a lovely china-like complexion, which harmo- 
nised with her beautiful silver hair. In the days when 
she lived at Roseheath (now called Hilton House), it 
was a never-to-be-forgotten sight to see her sailing 
down Castle Street, with her petticoats trailing in the 
mud beyond her dress, and her variety of shawls 
streaming in all directions. As regarded cleanliness 
in her household, she was punctilious to a remarkable 
degree, but her carelessness and untidiness in dress 
were such that when a lady friend once ventured to 
suggest to her that it would be well to pay a little 
more attention to her outward appearance, she replied, 
" My dear, I thank the Lord that I remember to put 
on my clothes at all, for I am always afraid that I 
shall go out without any". On another occasion, when 
she was bargaining for fish in the market-place, after 
walking in heavy rain from Roseheath, a bystander 
took the liberty of drawing her attention to the fact 
that there was a great depth of mud on the skirt of 



her dress, as well as several holes in her white cotton 
stockings, whereupon the Dean's wife, drawing herself 
up with r^al dignity, exclaimed indignantly, " What 
does that signify ? / am Mrs. Fyvie I " The use of 
a looking^lass was always disdained by Mrs. Fyvie, 
and on Sunday mornings when it was time to get 
ready for church, instead of arraying herself in her 
bedroom, she used to make a hasty toilet in the lobby, 
having Brst flung her mantle and boa down stairs, as 
a signal to the housemaid to lose no time in bringing 
her goloshes to her. These goloshes were cast aside 
when she got into church, and her feet encased in a 
pair of warm slippers, which always awaited her in 
her pew, where the finishing touches were generally 
given to the toilet, which had been but partially per- 
formed in the Roseheath lobby, and the stray locks 
gathered up under the large black silk bonnet 

Her husband, who was the mildest and most 
courteous of men, was both ruled and worshipped ly 
her. She believed that his equal, for piety and learn- 
ing, did not exist on earth, but she never permitted 
him to take the most trivial step without asking her 
consent For some time before his resignation, his 
health was so bad that any mental exertion was 
almost impossible for him, but his wife, in her intense 
anxiety lest he should lose his church, helped him 
with his sermons (and it was even alleged often com- 
posed them entirely), and performed in his stead every 

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clerical duty that was possible for her. She would 
doubtless gladly have entered the pulpit and preached 
had she been permitted. In all the congregation of 
St John's Church she took a deep and affectionate 
interest, regarding all those whom her husband had 
baptised as if they were her own children, to be 
scolded and kept in order, as well as petted and 
caressed. Both before and after the Dean's death, she 
went constantly among his flock, lecturing, cheering, 
counselling, sympathising, and making no distinc- 
tions, but showing an equal interest in rich and poor, 
young and old, fashionable and unfashionable. Even 
those who were most afraid of her reproofs could not 
cherish any resentment towards her, while those who 
really strove to do their duty were always gladdened 
by her genial warmth. There was no individual in 
St John's, of whatever position in society, who did 
not look on Roseheath as a home where sympathy 
and advice awaited them, from their clergyman's 
wife, in any sorrow or perplexity. 

No strangers ever appeared in St John's on a 
Sunday, unobserved by Mrs. Fyvie, and she and the 
Dean always made a point of finding out where they 
were staying, and going to call for them on the 
Monday, in order to invite them to dinner at Rose- 
heath. The hospitality and generosity of the Fyvies 
were, in fact, unbounded (although they had only a 
very limited Income), and in no house was there ever 


a warmer and heartier welcome awaiting every guest 
Mrs. Fyvie used to give charming little evening par- 
ties to all the young friends of her stepchildren (of 
whom no mother could have been fonder or prouder), 
and no effort was spared on her part to make all the 
young people enjoy themselves. Many a pretty gift 
did she bestow, many an interesting book did she 
offer to lend. 

No beggar was ever turned away from the gates of 
Roseheath, or applied, unheeded, to Mrs, Fyvie on 
the highway. Often, after vainly searching the huge 
pocket which hung by her side, for a penny, and 
finding no coin except a half-a-crown, she has parted 
with the latter rather than let any suppliant appeal to 
her in vain. 

After her husband had resigned, and Mr. Mackay 
had been appointed Incumbent, Mrs. Fyvie imagined 
that she should still be considered the ruler of the 
church, and was very jealous of any infringement 
of her rights tor slight to her dignity. There was a 
front galler>' pew of which she desired to retain the 
sole possession, and having several times been an- 
noyed by finding a family, who had only recently 
come to Inverness, seated there, and thus preventing 
her from getting to the place of honour at the top, 
she one day electrified the congregation by ordering 
the intruders, in a loud voice, to come out, as she 
alone had a right to that pew. It was only, however, 

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when she considered her rights invaded that she ever 
gave way to such a demonstration. Of any behaviour 
calculated to give pain she was quite incapable, for 
she possessed that kindness of heart and delicacy of 
feeling which always give birth to genuine politeness, 
and even a careless observer could not fail to perceive 
that, notwithstanding her extreme eccentricity, she 
was a perfect gentlewoman, and had always been 
accustomed to move In what was in every sense — and 
not merely a conventional one — the best society. 

When the death of her favourite stepsons (far away 
in foreign lands, where she could not minister to 
their wants or soothe their last moments) followed 
the death of her idolised husband and the loss of the 
pretty home where she had so freely dispensed 
hospitality, Mrs. Fyvie became much broken down ; 
but still, even in the days when ^e and infirmities 
had impaired her faculties, and she lived alone and 
desolate in a small house at the foot of Academy 
Street, she loved to invite some half-dozen of her 
Episcopalian acquaintances to take tea with her ; and 
anything more unconventional than those gatherings 
could not be imagined, for the hostess generally 
utilised her guests and ordered them to help in toast- 
ing the bread and arranging the tea things on the 

Mrs. Fyvie was particularly fond of a good dinner, 
and during the last years of her life, when failing 



health prevented her from accepting any invitations, 
she used, on the morning of the day on which a 
dinner party was to be given at a friend's house, to 
send a servant to make inquiries as to the bill of fare. 
If any of the dishes met with her approval, she sent, 
at the dinner hour, a covered basket containing plates, 
which she demanded should be filled with only her 
favourite dainties. Once, when some boiled mutton 
(which she particularly disliked) was sent her, she 
indignantly returned it. On Christmas Day she 
always stipulated for a large supply of turkey and 
plum pudding being sent her, whatever else might be ' 
at table. 

For years before her death she was extremely 
feeble, and used to be wheeled about the streets in a 
Bath chair by a number of little boys, who received 
pennies from her for doing so. Wrapped in an old 
scarlet Indian shawl, and with her silvery locks 
straggling from beneath her black silk bonnet, her 
figure was a conspicuous object on the Inverness 
streets ; but it had a saddening effect on those who 
had known her in her brighter days, when surrounded 
by troops of friends, to see her thus in her old age 
desolate and helpless, and with her once powerful 
masculine intellect, which had ruled and Influenced 
so many, darkened and decayed. 

Captain Finch was a gentleman who resided so 
many years in Inverness that he might almost have 

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been termed a native of the phice, and who differed 
so much from the inhabitants in many respects, that 
he deserved to be ranked among its characters. He 
first came to the North as the guest of the Earl of 
Seafield (who had accidentally made his acquaintance), 
and this effected for him an entrance into the best 
circles in the Highland Capital. For years he was a 
frequent visitor at the houses of Banker Mackenzie, 
Banker Mackay, Doctor Nicol, Sheriff Colquhoun, 
Mr. Mackintosh of Aberarder, Mr. Duff of Muirtown, 
and many others. Their dinner-parties were never 
considered complete without him, and he became so 
completely identified with Inverness, so attached to 
the friends he had met there, and such an admirer of 
its scenery, that strangers were apt to imagine that it 
must have been the place of his birth. Although 
Captain Finch resided in Inverness for between 
twenty and thirty years, he was never known during 
all that time to move further away than Nairn, Strath- 
peffer, or Drumnadrochit Who he really was, how- 
ever, was a mystery which was never fully unravelled, 
even though the name of his reputed father is engraven 
below his own on the tombstone which marks his 
resting-place in Tomnahurich Cemetery, In the days 
when he used to perambulate the streets of Inverness 
young people were more romantic than they are now, 
and the mystery which hung around this stately and 
aristocratic-looking individual invested him in their 

n„jN.«j-v Goodie 


eyes with a strange fascination. Captain Finch was a 
gentleman of courtly and polished manners, and his 
courtesy to all women, whether old or young, rich or 
poor, was proverbial. He was of a tall and command- 
ing figure, and had a handsome face lit up by a pair 
of splendid coal-black eyes, which could sometimes 
blaze with a lurid flame that denoted a fierce and 
passionate temper. He was hardly ever known to 
smile unless it were in sarcasm, and an habitual gloom 
and melancholy darkened his brow and subdued his 
tones. Yet he loved social pleasures, and as long as 
his old friends were left to him, delighted in partaking 
of their hospitality and in inviting them to dine at his 
own rooms. Even with them, however, he maintained 
his habitual reserve as to his identity and his past life ; 
at anyrate, if he ever revealed his secret to any one of 
them, it never went further, and has now gone down 
to the grave. 

That he lived here under a feigned name was 
believed by almost every one, but there were differ- 
ences of opinion as to what his real history had been. 
Many believed that he had never been in the army 
at all, some hinted that he had been obliged to leave 
it on account of some crime, others fancied that his 
relatives had tried to shut him up in an asylum, so as 
to get hold of his money; but the greatest number of 
all believed that he was the son of one of the Royal 
Dukes, and a grandson of Geoi^e the Third. That 

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he bore a most extraordinary resemblance to the 
portraits of George the Fourth could not be disputed, 
and one old gentleman who had seen the " First 
Gentleman in Europe" on several occasions, informed 
the writer that on first beholding Captain Finch he 
was perfectly startled by the resemblance between the 
two faces. 

The Captain was never to be seen in either winter 
or summer without a tartan plaid wrapped round his 
shoulders and hanging down in folds to the ground. 
He generally wore trousers of shepherd tartan and 
had a variety of caps which he wore by turns, one in 
which crimson predominated being the favourite. He 
also was generally the wearer of a valuable scarf pin. 
Of these he possessed several — one of them being 
adorned with a large brilliant He was always ex- 
tremely neat and most carefully got up, quite the ideal 
of a dandy of the old school. His walk was particu- 
larly slow and dignified ; the utmost stretch of 
imagination could not conjure up a vision of Captain 
Finch in a hurry. Three o'clock was the time 
when he might generally be seen taking his stately 
saunter along High Street, never looking to the 
right or to the left, and acknowledging the salu- 
tations of acquaintances with a low and ceremonious 

He had a great personal liking for the Rev. James 
Mackay, and a great admiration for his preaching. 

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and as long as that gentleman remained the incumbent 
of St John's, he was one of his most regular and 
attentive hearers; but from the time when Mr. 
Mackay sailed for India, Captain Finch was never 
known to enter a place of worship. 

The Captain's name was never seen on a subscrip- 
tion list, but it has been stated on the most reliable 
authority that he gave away fully one third of his 
income in private charity. No case of real distress 
was ever brought quietly before him that he did not 
gladly and speedily do his utmost to relieve. 

To all those who were in a dependent position or 
had seen better days, he paid that extreme attention 
and respect which are generally awarded only to the 
wealthy or those in a superior sphere ; and when 
visiting in any house he always strove to give the 
least possible trouble to servants, and when taking his 
departure loaded them with gifts. 

For two years he resided at Drumnadrochit Hotel 
in Glen Urquhart, and during that time he made the 
acquaintance and gained the gratitude of many of his 
humble neighbours. On one occasion, while sauntering 
in front of the Inn smoking a cigar on a day of cold 
east wind, he observed an elderly country-woman, clad 
JD a very thin shawl, passing along the road to Inver- 
ness in one of those old-fashioned little carts which 
were peculiar to the Highlands. He instantly took the 
plaid from his shoulders, and passing i{ round the poor 



woman, bej^ed her to accept of it to protect her from 
the cold 

Captain Finch lived for many years in lodgings, and 
always selected those where he could procure the best 
cooking, for he was a great epicure and lived on the 
most recherchi fare. He was particularly fond of game 
when it was something more than " high," and once in- 
vited a gentleman to dine with him upon a woodcock 
which had been shot nine weeks before. Latterly he 
took up his permanent abode at the Muirtown Hotel, 
For many years before his death he gave up attending 
any of the parties where his stately form had once 
been so familiar a sight Even before many of his 
old friends had died, he began to retire into seclusion ; 
but as one by one they rapidly dropped away, he 
withdrew himself from the public more and more, 
until finally, upon the death of the last of his old 
associates, Banker John Mackay (whose house — 
famed for its sincere kindness and genial hospitality — 
had been the only one he had entered for years), he 
secluded himself entirely in his rooms at the Muirtowo 
Hotel, refusing admittance to any visitor, mourning 
his last friend with a grief which would not be com- 
forted, and sinking into a gloom and misanthropy 
which deepened and darkened until they ended in 

Miss Isabella Gwynne was a native of Fort Ai^ustus, 
but she so often paid lengthened visits to her friends 

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in Inverness, that she was considered quite an Inver- 
nessian. Her father, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, 
had commanded the government galley which used to 
carry provisions from Inverness for the use of the 
dwellers in the old Fort, and his marriage is alluded to 
in Mrs. Grant of Laggan's Letters from the Mountains. 
For many years Miss Gwynne lived with her brother 
Mark, the medical man of the district, who was a 
most singular being, uncouth, erratic, and abrupt, 
though with real cleverness and wit ; but from the 
time when he departed to seek his fortunes in 
Australia, she resided alone, with one servant, in a 
romantic cottage on the banks of the Canal. With 
persons of all ranks Miss Gwynne was a great 
favourite. In the homes of the poor she was a 
constant visitor, nursing the sick, comforting the 
afflicted, feeding the hungry, and sympathising in 
cveiy joy ; so that notwithstanding a very slender in- 
come, she was able to do a much greater amount of 
good than many who were twenty times wealthier and 
in a much higher social sphere. She was also a fre- 
quent guest in the houses of the neighbouring pro- 
prietors and country gentlemen, who considered their 
dinner-tables enlivened and made more attractive by 
her mirth, good-humour, and flow of anecdotes. That 
homely figure in its old-fashioned tartan gown would 
now be considered sadly out of place at a fashion- 
able dinner, but in those days any one who was a 

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" character " was eagerly sought after, in order to pre- 
vent formality, and promote the amusement of the 

Miss Gwynne — or "Gwynny" as she was often 
. called — was the most guileless, unsuspicious and affec- 
tionate of human beings ; she believed that there was 
something worthy of love in every one, and to believe 
evil of anyone was torture to her. She was, however, 
capable, though rarely, of giving a rebuff if she con- 
sidered that she had been made the subject of a 
liberty or slight On one occasion, when a gentle- 
man on coming to call for her and finding the 
passage leading to the parlour full of smoke, called 
out, "Why don't you clean your chimneys. Miss 
Gwynne ? " she shouted back from the top of the 
stairs, " Clean your heart, Mr. Colin, clean your heart ; 
it has more need of it ". 

At another time a lady in the neighbourhood 
borrowed all Miss Gwynne's chairs for an entertain- 
ment given on the occasion of her daughter's wedding, 
but sent a message that she could not invite the lender, 
as she expected such a number of guests that she 
really should not have a seat to offer her ; where- 
upon Miss Gwynne naively remarked to a friend, 
" Hoot, toot, I assure you, she might have let me sit 
on one of my own chairs". 

This phrase, " Hoot, toot, I assure you," was gene- 
rally the preface to every remark she made, and she 

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often made it more emphatic by clutching hold of the 
shoulder or hands of her auditor. 

Her servant Beenie, who had lived with her for a 
very long time, was as great a character as herself. 
Miss Gwynne was distressed at one time by perceiving 
that Beenie was particularly absent in manner and 
depressed, and on questioning her as to the reason, 
the damsel at once frankly confessed that she was 
** in love " ; whereupon her mistress, in deepened 
anxiety and great excitement, seized hold of her 
hands, exclaiming — 

" Hoot, toot, I assure you, Beenie, lassie, there's no 
such thing going as that kind of love ; there's nothing 
but brotherly love, Beenie — nothing but brotherly love 1 " 
"Thafs all you know aboot it. Miss Gwynne^" cried 
Beenie, and flounced out of the room. 

With the late Roualeyn Gordon Gumming, during 
his lengthened residence in Fort - Augustus, Miss 
Gwynne was on the best of terms. They often used 
to call for each other, and Miss Gwynne used to pre- 
sent him with religious tracts, which, with his habitual 
courtesy, he never failed to accept; but once, on going 
to his rooms and enquiring whether he had read them, 
he replied that he had given them to some " c^Ileachs," 
who, he knew, would be delighted with them. " Hoot, 
toot, I assure you, Mr. Gumming, dear, it's no for the 
c^Ueachs I meant them ; it was for yoursell" said 
poor Miss Gwynne ; and the great hunter, perceiving 

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her genuine distress, promised to read whatever tracts 
she might present him with in future. 

Those were the days when Fort-Augustus was the 
abode of many well-known characters. Indeed, dur- 
ing many previous years, it had been a very favourite 
place of settlement for ladies and gentlemen of limited 
income, who desired the benefit of country air, combined 
with the enjoyment of beautiful scenery and congenial 
society. Forty or fifty years ago there must have 
been a delightful little colony at Fort-Augustus, on 
the most familiar and pleasant terms with one another; 
but even so late as twenty or thirty years ago there 
were still many persons there of a most marked in- 
dividuality, who might be seen regularly sauntering 
on the banks of the Canal, watching the passage of 
the steamer through the locks. Who that ever 
passed through Fort-Augustus, during that period, 
could foi^et the lion-hunter, with his magnificent 
kilted form and long ringlets, attended by his devoted 
admirer, clansman, and friend, the burly Donald 
Gumming? Or the redoubtable Captain Spalding 
(who had lost an arm in battle), and his portly wife ? 
All these, as well as Miss Gwynne, used to await the 
arrival of the " Edinburgh Castle " to get a greeting 
from Captain Turner and to hail any acquaintances 
on board. 

Miss Gwynne's delight was to bring any friend 
whom she might espy to her own cottage to partake 



of tea, oatcakes, cheese, and e^s during the slow- 
passage of the steamer through the locks, and carry- 
away a pocketful of pears or apples to eat on the way. 
In her little drawing-room hung several handsomely- 
framed portraits of ladies and gentlemen who had at 
various periods rented shootings in the neighbour- 
hood, and made her the almoner of their bounty ; and 
the mantelpiece was crowded with curiosities of all 
descriptions, bestowed by friends of all ranks. The 
last time the writer saw Miss Gwynne was in the 
autumn of i860, when passing through the locks, 
accompanied by a friend. As usual, the old lady was 
standing on the Canal banks, clad in tartan gown and 
in a bonnet of a fashion belonging to years long gone 
by, while her homely freckled face, in its framework 
of sandy hair, was beaming with its wonted genial 
smiles. She had promised to come soon to pay a 
fortnight's visit in Inverness, but she wrote soon after- 
wards to say that bad health and constant suffering 
would not permit her to carry out her intentions. The 
beginning of her fatal illness had then set in, and the 
many friends in Inverness, who del^hted in her 
society, never saw her again. She went to Edin- 
buigh to undei^o an operation for cancer, and died 
from its effects, among total strangers and far away 
from all she loved. 

The splendid form and singularly handsome face of 
Roualeyn Gordon Gumming used once to be so often 

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seen on the streets of Inverness, that he also might 
be regarded as one of its characters. 

He wore, when in town, a full Highland dress, with 
a plaid fastened by a large brooch, a broad Highland 
bonnet or a glittering helmet, huge shirt frills, buckled 
shoes, and a great quantity of jewellery (including 
silver fish-hooks in his ears), and carried an immense 
stafT in his hand. But when in the country he has 
been known sometimes, if the day were warm, to go 
about clad in only a shirt and stockings, but carrying 
his kilt on his arm and his shoes in his hand. His 
hair was sometimes allowed to droop in long silken 
ringlets over his shoulders, and at others was gathered 
into a lady's net and fastened with a quantity of 

After his showroom had been removed from Inver- 
ness to Fort-Augustus, he often wandered about in 
the woods of Glenmoriston from morning till night, 
cutting down hazel with which to make walking 
sticks for sale. He used to speak to every one he 
met on the road with the greatest frankness, but with 
insinuating gentleness, and in a voice which was 
peculiarly musical, sentimental, and low — not at all 
the sort pf voice one would imagine to belong to a 
mighty lion-hunter. To any old Highland c^illeach 
he met on the road he was invariably as courteous as 
if she had been a duchess. Of the Highland girls he 
was a great admirer, and used to present the prettiest 

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among them with silver brooches and tartan 

At Fort-Augustus he was contented to live in a 
little thatched cottage, and the society he most de- 
lighted in was that of Donald Gumming, the village 
blacksmith, an immensely tall, stout man, of great in- 
telligence and warmth of heart, whom Roualeyn had 
inspired with a devotion and fidelity as great as ever 
filled the breast of any Highlander of old for the chief 
of his clan. 

Donald would have died for Roualeyn ; he saw no 
fault in him, followed him about from place to place, 
and became as necessary to him as the light of day. 
If a dunning letter had to be answered, a disagreeable 
message conveyed, or a letter written to any of his 
relations with a request for money, Donald was ready 
to perform the task, and spare his hero the trouble 
and annoyance. Donald's home also was always at 
Roualeyn's service, at any hour he chose to enter it ; 
and many a supper was prepared by worthy Peggy 
Cuniming's hospitable hands in her neat little parlour 
for her brother's patron, on his return, wet and weary, 
from some long expedition in the woods, however 
unseasonable might be the hour, and though his own 
abode was close at hand. 

Before Roualeyn fixed his abode at Fort Augustus, 
Donald often went by invitation to visit at Altyre, 
driving there in a gig belonging to himself, and he 



used to take Roualeyn back with him for a visit of 
some weeks, in the same conveyance, stopping a night 
on the way at an inn, where the supper consumed by 
the lion-hunter was generally of such magnitude as to 
alarm Donald, lest the landlady might imagine that 
he had eaten half, and he once slipped away to the 
kitchen to assure her that of the dozen large salt 
herring which had disappeared in the parlour only one 
had fallen to his share. Roualeyn thought nothing of 
finishing a whole gigot of mutton or a dozen herring 
at one meal, and was ready afterwards to do full jus- 
tice to the landlady's oatcakes and cheese. 

Once when Roualeyn and Donald were travelling 
about together, the eccentric dress of the former caused 
him to be mistaken for a lunatic, and Donald was asked 
if he was Roualeyn's keeper. " Faith ! no," was the 
reply " but he is mine." 

When any one suggested to Donald that he ought 
to show more firmness when his patron made demands 
upon his time and services, his reply was invariably 
the same, " How could I refuse Sir William's 
son ? " 

Donald used often to walk with his friend on the 
Canal Banks when the steamer was expected, and 
they were generally attended by a lai^e tame goat 
Numbers of people used to visit the showroom during 
the passage of the steamer through the locks — the 
price of admission being one shilling — and to purchase 

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walking sticks carved by Roualeyn, of which there 
were always a great many for sale. 

Before removing to Fort Augustus, Roualeyn's 
Exhibition had been held in the building which is 
now occupied by the Advertiser OfBce, and which has 
gone through many strange phases. First of all it was 
used as the Free High Church under the ministry of 
the Rev. Joseph Thorbum, and after Roualeyn's 
occupancy, it was used as the Bishop's Mission Chapel, 
before the erection of the Cathedral. 

When Roualeyn first came home from foreign lands, 
he brought with him a little African servant whose 
antics and comical appearance attracted as many 
people to the showroom as the exhibition of stuffed 
wild beasts, but the unfortunate little fellow was taken 
ill with small pox, and died in the Inverness Infirmary, 
to his master's great grief 

Donald Cumming died shortly before his namesake 
and patron, and Fort Augustus, bereft of all its 
" Characters," as well as of many whose society 
invested it with a charm, seems now, notwithstanding 
the Monastery and the beauty of the surrounding 
scenery, like the mockery of its former self 

Miss Annie and Miss Peggy Grant were the 
daughters of the minister of Kilmonivaig, and resided 
in Inverness from the time of their father's death. 
They acquired local celebrity more from the great age 
to which they attained, and the extraordinary terms 

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on which they lived with each other, than from any 
other cause. 

Miss Peggy was about ninety-six when she died, 
but Miss Annie, who was a good deal younger than 
her sister, survived her a long time and attained the 
age of ninety-nine. The latter was very proud of her 
age, and had always entertained the hope that she 
might complete her hundredth year, and thus outshine 
her sister Peggy. She was as touchy about being 
considered younger than she really was, as ladies in 
general are about being considered older. She was 
the prettier and more refined-looking of the two, and 
generally wore a sofl fine white shawl and becoming 
cap. Miss Peggy was the better-natured, was full of 
cheerfulness, and had a store of anecdotes. Although 
they lived in the same house, they had separate sitting 
rooms, and never took any of their meals together. The 
one would not even permit her tea to be infused in the 
same tea-pot as that of the other, and they lived quite 
as much apart as if they were in separate dwelling- 
houses, making ceremonious calls for each other at 
stated intervals, when the one offered refreshment to 
the other, and they bowed and shook hands at parting 
— that is to say, if they did not quarrel during the 
interview, which was often the case. 

When visitors came to call, the servant always 
asked, " Is it Miss Peggy or Miss Annie that you 
wish to see first ? " and as Miss Annie was the one 

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whose dignity was most difficult to appease, it was 
always wisest to go upstairs to her parlour before 
going near Miss Pe^y.who lived on the ground floor. 
" Have you been to see P^^y first ? " was always 
Miss Annie's first question, in tones, the stiffness of 
which at once relaxed when she heard the answer, 
" Oh, no, Miss Annie, I wished you to have the first 
call ". She would then chat on most pleasantly (for 
she was a kindly, well-informed woman), and would 
display — though she was quite blind — some pieces of 
needlework done in her younger days, when she was 
a skilful and tasteful embroiderer. She would then 
order in refreshment, after which, when the visitor rose 
to go, she would say in tones which might suit royalty 
granting a favour, " You may give a look at Peggy 
on your way out". Miss Peggy, of course, would 
inquire, " Have you been to see Annie before coming 
near me ? " but kind little attentions and bits of news 
soon dissipated her wrath. However, woe betide the 
visitor who, on the tray with wine and cake being 
brought in, would say, " I cannot take anything, for I 
have already had refreshment from Miss Annie". 
That was indeed an unpardonable affront ! 

When Miss Peggy died, Miss Annie sold her 
furniture and removed to lodgings, where she was 
never allowed to feel lonely, for the children and grand- 
children of her old friends used constantly to visit 
her. For years before her death she was stone-blind. 



but she retained her other faculties in a most wonder- 
ful manner. A veiy short time before her death, 
while sitting up, supported by pillows in her bed, 
to which she had been confined for a year or two, 
she repeated to the writer the whole of the fourteenth 
chapter of St John. Her memory was indeed most 
wonderful. Even then, when verging on her 
hundredth year, she could tell numberless enter- 
taining anecdotes. She could give the history and 
trace back the ancestors of every family in Inverness, 
and she had a very great regard for birth and a good 
deal of Highland pride. She had also a greal deal of 
shrewdness and insight into character. It was no 
easy matter to impose on Miss Annie, or to make her 
accept any reasons except the true ones, for any 
course of action. She was very touchy about people 
not calling often for her, fancying herself neglected if 
her friends did not go near her every few days. She 
thoroughly enjoyed getting any one to read to her, 
and a momentary gleam would often light up the 
small white refined face lying back on the pillows, 
when some of her favourite Scottish paraphrases, or 
some of the prayers of the Church of England (which, 
though a staunch Presbyterian, she loved to listen to) 
were whispered in her ear. She died, when to live 
longer would have been only a burden and a 
weariness to her, but her one great disappointment 

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was, that she had not attained the glory of completing 
her hundredth year I 

Miss Peggy and Miss Annie Grant had belonged 
to a band of old ladies in Inverness, of whom many 
were designated by their christian names. Among 
these were "Miss Jeanie" (aunt to The Mackintosh); 
Miss Maiy Jamieson; Miss Mary Mackintosh (better 
known as "Miss Mary Waterloo," from having long 
lived at Waterloo Place) ; Miss Johanna (who has 
been already described), and her aunt and cousin on 
Castle Street, Miss Mackintosh and Miss Macbean 
(Tortola) ; the three Misses Fraser of Farraline, Miss 
Grace, Miss Margaret, and Miss Kate ; the cheerful, 
kind, and good Miss Munro (Munlochy), who always 
wore a broad band of black velvet across her forehead ; 
and her sister, Mrs. Fraser, the most eccentric of 
human beings, who always went about in a black 
satin dress and costly shawl, but with an enormous 
poke bonnet and frilled collar reaching to her shoulders, 
a reticule and long veil, and with her face completely 
shrouded by a huge gingham umbrella, whatever the 
weather might be. 

Mrs. Fraser was very fond of legal advice on every 
imaginable subject, and there was one solicitor in 
Inverness who was liable to receive messages or visits 
from her even at ten or eleven o'clock at night, 
demanding counsel or assistance. Her eccentricities 
generally precluded her from invitations to the little 

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tea-gatherings which were frequent among the other 
old ladies in Inverness, and at which there was not 
more scandal introduced than at the fashionable after- 
noon teas of the present day. 

Besides meeting among themselves, some of these 
old ladies used to give very pleasant entertainments 
for young ladies in their teens. " Miss Mary 
Waterloo," in particular, was celebrated for the nice 
little evening parties to which she used to invite alt 
her young friends, when she always showed her 
approval of those who were content with one cup of 
tea, by the bestowal of a cup of cream and jam, from 
which those who demanded a second supply of tea 
were debarred. 

Miss Wapshott, the old lady who has already been 
referred to in these pages as having taught French 
and drawing on Church Street, was — although not an 
Invernessian — certainly one of the notabilities of 
Inverness. She had, at one time, kept a boarding 
school in Inverness on the west side of the river, 
together with a sister, but on the death of the latter, 
gave up housekeeping and retired into a lodging, 
where, although she had only one room for both 
bedroom and parlour, it was made to serve as school- 
room as well, and her high accomplishments always 
served to procure pupils for her, until age and 
infirmity forced her to give up teaching, and retire into 
a cottage in the country, where she died. 

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Her father had been a man of good position, who 
kept his carriage and men-servants, and many an 
amusing anecdote she used to relate of the dinner 
parties at his house, at which she, when a very young- 
child, used to appear, so as to amuse the company 
with her singing. 

Miss Wapshott always dressed in an antique 
fashion, with a remarkable bonnet surmounted by 
waving plumes. She was never known to have been 
absent from a funeral, for which sight she seemed to 
have a particular liking; and she must also have been 
of a very peaceable temperament, for if she saw two 
d<^s fighting, she would make a rush at them with 
her umbrella and try to separate them. She had also 
a great love for cats, and used to pick up every 
starved stray one and carry it home to tend and nurse. 
At ona time she had quite a colony of them, and her 
neighbours were to be pitied, as if any of the cats 
escaped and found their way to the house-tops, there 
must have been a great caterwauling. Miss Wapshott 
trained a cat and a canary at one time to live together 
in amity, and when she went out to take a saunter 
along the riverside, used to carry them both with her 
in a basket, showing them with triumph to every one 
she met 

When the cat, on attaining the venerable age of 
eleven years, became the mother of a family of 
kittens, it seemed to consider that the event required 




to be celebrated in some signal manner, and its mode 
of doing so was by eating the poor canaiy ! Miss 
Wapshott mourned the canary for a long time, but 
sought at last to console herself by taming a rat. Al- 
though she loved all animals and birds, there were 
very few of her fellow-creatures on whom she bestowed 
her affections, A few of her pupils, however, were 
intense favourites with her, and she regaled them often 
with her racy, humorous stories, and inspired them 
with sincere regard for her, even though she was 
irritable and touchy to the last degree. Her talent 
for drawing was something quite remarkable ; her 
studies of female heads, in particular, were exquisitely 
finished, and her pupils sighed in vain to emulate 
their perfection. 

There were many other old maiden ladies in 
Inverness at that period, who were famed for their 
peculiar ways, but space will not permit a description 
of them. The old gentlemen were very severe on 
them all, and used to quiz their love for gossip, of 
which they themselves, nevertheless, were very fond. 

Dandy Charlie (Mr. Charles Lamont Robertson), 
used to note down the dates of all the births and mar- 
riages which took place, even when the parties concerned 
might have been supposed to have no possible interest 
for him. He was the oracle for all the news, public 
and private, in Inverness and within walking distance, 
and as he had a wide circle of acquaintances, he made 

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himself very agreeable and useful amongst them by 
retailing to each and all, the gossip he had gleaned. 
As he followed no profession, he had plenty of time 
on his hands, and when not calling for any of his 
acquaintances to detail the number of entrees which 
had been at the last fashionable dinner-party, he 
might be found with the other idle gentlemen on the 
Exchange, or in front of either of the booksellers' shops 
on High Street. 

Neither he nor his clothes ever seemed to be the 
worse for the wear, so that one Inverness lady dubbed 
him " the Evergreen ". He used to appear with each 
successive season in a particular suit, so that one had 
only to look at him to know whether it was spring, 
summer, autumn, or winter. He is best remembered 
by many people as arrayed in a white waistcoat and 
white trousers, light-coloured gloves of perfect fit, and 
carrying a light umbrella. He always looked as if he 
had just emei^d from the hands of his valet ; the 
wind never seemed to have rufBed the pile of his hat 
or the mud to have spattered his patent leather boots; 
his outer man was the essence of spotless purity ! 

The Laird of Inshes has passed away too recently, 
and was too widely known, to require to be recalled to 
the notice of any Invemessian, and the most of the 
anecdotes regarding him have been so widely circulated 
that it would be useless repetition to introduce them 

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It is difBcult to realise that his handsome com- 
manding form can no longer be seen perambulating 
the streets of Inverness, on the look-out for some 
acquaintance to bring home to dinner at Culcabock 
(for he never could endure to dine alone), and that his 
voice will never be heard again, uttering some joke or 

He had always an answer ready for whoever might 
accost hira on the road. Once on being asked if he 
was going to pay Mr. Grant the dentist a visit, he 
replied, " No ; when I want extractors, I go to 
Stewart and Rule". 

" Help the gentry first, and me afterwards," he 
used to say sarcastically, after he had sold his property, 
if, at any public entertainment, a plate was handed to 
him before any neighbour at table, who had risen in 
the world and only lately bought an estata 

There used to be another old dandy in Inverness at 
one time, although he was not one who was given to 
sarcastic speeches, or who cared much for society — 
particularly after the death of his wife, to whom he 
had been greatly devoted. This was " Old Dunma- 
glass," who lived for many years in lodgings on 
Margaret Street, but who kept a splendid high-bred 
horse (in the stables on Academy Street, which 
terminated Miss Mackintosh of Raigmore's garden 
on Church Street), on which he used to ride out every 
day — his erect figure carefully and foppishly attired. 

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his pug nose and fair hair being familiar objects to 
every dweller in Inverness. Latterly, however, as he 
became feebler, he went out only in his close 

His greatest peculiarity was his love of cats, of 
which he kept a great number, and had a furnished 
room for their use alone. On any special occasion, 
such as a cafs birthday, the neighbouring cats were 
invited to dine with them, and a roast of meat and a 
plum pudding were prepared for the occasion, and the 
cats placed on chairs all round the table. He 
a>nsidered that the greatest honour he could pay any 
lady was to present her with a cat, and when he gave 
one away he used to send every day to inquire for its 

At an earlier date than many Invemessians can 
recall, there resided in Inverness a gentleman 
whose eccentricities were probably never rivalled. He 
was the son of a landed proprietor, and his real name 
was Fhineas Mackintosh, but he generally went by 
the name of " Phinny Fool ". He resided with his 
sister Catherine, whom he always called " Katack," 
in a commodious house near the foot of Castle Street, 
on the west side, having its entrance within a court 
It is now converted into the premises of an auc- 
tioneer. In this house he used constantly to give 
large and costly dinner parties, to which all the 
gentlemen of the first position in the ne^hbourhood 

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were invited. A policeman had to be stationed in the 
court on those occasions, to keep away a crowd of 
boys who were always attracted by a figure of a 
Highlander outside the entrance door, from a pipe in 
the mouth of which, on the night of a party, a jet of 
light was made to issue. 

The best of fare was always to be met with at 
Phinny's table, and the choicest wine, and the dinner 
lasted for several hours ; but after each entertainment, 
when he sat down to count the cost and found how 
much it amounted to, he used to wring his hands, and 
wail, and cry. If there was anything at table that he 
did not care for himself, he used to order it away 
without inquiring whether any of his guests wished to 
partake of it. On one occasion, he is reported 
to have said, when the cheese was brought in> 
"Who is for cheese? I am for none. Take away 
the cheese". 

His after-dinner speeches and toasts were the best 
part of Phinny's entertainment. They were all given 
in crambo (which indeed was introduced into his 
ordinary conversation every day), and the remarks he 
made to his guests throughout the whole of the time 
they were seated at his table, though generally the 
reverse of complimentary, used to convulse them with 
laughter. One specimen will sufRce : 
" Kilcoy, 
You Ross-shire boy. 

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Drink off your glass, 

You stupid ass," 
Some of the guests used mischievously to ply Phinny 
with his own wine, until he generally ended by slipping 
under the table. 

On the day when a party was expected Phinny kept 
continually running about the house, clad in a lai^e 
white apron, arranging dishes, superintending cooking, 
and giving all manner of directions and assistance, 
although he always kept a good staff of servants. 

The fear of incurring the displeasure of the Rev. 
Dr. Rose prevented Phinny from giving dinner-parties 
on Sunday, but he always liked to bring home some 
friend from the church door to dinner with him, and 
always ordered a better dinner than ordinary to be in 
readiness on that day. On one occasion when he 
brought home a gentleman whom he wished to treat 
with special ceremony, he found that the roast which 
had been ordered had been allowed to get burnt, and 
he rushed about the house screaming that he would 
get all the servants put into jail, but even then — so 
strong was the force of habit — uttering his rebukes in 
crambo, which caused roars of laughter. 

Phinny was very fond of attending the various 
cattle markets, and on these occasions he generally 
drank so much whisky, as to cause him to enter into 
various business transactions, the memory of which 
was completely effaced from his mind by the fol- 



lowing day. At one market he bought a lai^e bull, 
which he ordered, on coming home at night, to be 
securely fastened in the close in which his dwelling- 
house was situated. Early in the morning his 
slumbers were rudely disturbed by the roaring of the 
animal, but being by this time perfectly oblivious of 
the extraordinary purchase he had made, Phinny was 
completely mystified as to the cause of the unwonted 
sounds below his window. As soon as daylight and 
sobriety had completely set in, he took care to get 
rid of his bargain, and to secure better rest for the 
following night. 

He used to attend the Northern Meeting Balls 
regularly, and on these occasions was always arrayed 
in a scarlet waistcoat embroidered with gold, and with 
bright buttons on his coat. He was a tall, stoutly- 
made man, with a weakness in one of his legs, which 
he dragged after him, so that he did not walk much, 
but used to drive about in a high gig drawn by a fine 
horse. It was said that he kept one of his toes, which 
had been amputated, preserved in spirits on his dining- 
room mantel piece ! His favourite place of resort was 
" Skelpan Sandy's " shop on the Exchange. 

In his youth, Phinny had held a commission in a 
regiment in the West Indies, but on the first occasion 
when fighting occurred, he ran to hide himself in a ditch. 
" It was not the powder I was afraid of," he used to say, 
" but the balls that were flying about" He sold his 

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1 and returned to Scotland, after having 
amassed a great deal of money in the West Indies, 
but as no one could credit him with having had 
sufficient sense to have acquired his fortune by his 
own efforts, it was the belief of most people that he had 
been left a legacy. 

He remained in Inverness till his death, dispensing 
with the assistance of his sister, hospitality to all his 
acquaintances, and leaving behind htm the memory of 
a warmth and kindness of heart such as is seldom 
equalled among wiser men. 

There were many other " characters " well-known in 
Inverness, in a different position of life. One of -these, 
who went by the name of " Knockie," although his 
real name was Hugh Fraser, was, for many years bead- 
clerk with the writer's uncle and father. Knockie was 
well connected, being the son of Captain Fraser of 
Knockie (the celebrated composer of Scotch music), 
and the nephew of Sir Hugh Fraser of Braelangwell. 
He was also a man of considerable ability and intel- 
ligence, with a great knowledge of law, and might 
have attained to a good position as a solicitor, had it not 
been for an unfortunate failing which blighted bis 
prospects, and which, though he long stru^led against 
it, he was never able to overcome. It was, however, 
his only fault, and never could it have been more 
truly said of anyone than of poor Knockie, that he 
was " no one's enemy but his own". 

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knockie's absences. 163 

For some years he gave way to his failing only at 
periodical times, generally once in six weeks, and often 
stayed away a fortnight. He used to slink back 
again in a shame-faced way (after having hung about 
the door for some time, summoning up his courage to 
enter) and seat himself on his high stool, trying as 
rapidly as possible to make up for lost time and get 
through the work which had accumulated in his 
absence. At first, earnest remonstrances used to 
await him on his return, but at last it was seen that 
they were quite unnecessary, for no one could have 
been more alive than Knockie himself was to the sad 
nature of his position, and more anxious that it 
should be amended. His desk was all filled with 
extracts about intoxication, which he had copied from 
books, as well as notes from sermons on that subject 
which he always made a point of going to hear. His 
own ideas about his besetting sin, and all his feelings 
of remorse, and wishes to lead a different life, were 
also written down on scraps of paper, and sometimes 
indeed were embodied into elaborate essays. As 
time went on, however, his absences became more 
frequent and extended over a longer period of time, 
and as remonstrances were seen at last to be quite 
ineffectual, it became the usual thing for Knockie, 
after an absence of a month or six weeks, to seat 
himself at his desk, without any notice being taken of 
his having been away. 

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On the occasions when he used to wander about in 
the close near the office door, ashamed to enter, and 
not yet entirely sober, he was often seen by the cook, 
who used to invite him down to the kitchen, and give 
him a large bowl of strong coffee to fortify his 
courage and clear his brain. He was at these times 
thrown a good deal into the society of an attractive 
housemaid, who, to remarkably lively and agreeable 
manners, and a bright smiling face, united the fascina- 
tion of a magnificent voice which would have made 
her fortune on the stage. Knockie became a victim to 
her charms, but he never had sufficient courage to 
make her an offer of marriage by word of mouth, nor 
even get the length of writing a love letter like Dalmi- 
gavie. It was on the wall of the close in which both 
the dwelling-house and office were situated that 
Knockie, with a pencil or a bit of coal, used to inscribe 
his rapturous and complimentary effusions, in the hope 
that Jane might see them. Her quick eyes did so 
readily enough, and every morning she looked out for 
some freshly-written rhapsodies, but the encourage- 
ment she bestowed was not sufficient to make poor 
Knockie speak to her on the subject He still, how- 
ever, liked to haunt the kitchen in the evenings, 
following in the wake of a bolder admirer of hers, 
Macdonald, the " Amen " of St John's Church, who 
was then a widower, and who used to sing, in what he 
considered an irresistible manner, the appropriate song 

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of " My pretty Jane," seated in the most comfortable 
corner near the fire, while poor Knockie with a shy 
grin on his face, loitered about the door. 

The figure of Knockie with that grin on his face, 
and sometimes a pen behind his ear, his flaxen hair 
standing straight up from his head which was generally 
to one side, and his arms hanging straight down at 
each side, was a well-known sight at the street comers 
of Inverness ; but if anyone related to his employers 
came in sight, the grin vanished — unless he was very 
far gone — and he precipitately fled. 

His odd manner of jerking out his sentences (even 
when quite sober), his bashfulness, his peculiar smile, 
and sidelong glances caused him to be well re- 
membered by anyone who had seen him only once, 
but no one could think of him with any feelings 
except those of pity and kindliness. He was the soul 
of honour, and under his uncouth exterior and many 
eccentricities, was a kind and faithful heart with the 
feelings of a gentleman, and a most amiable and 
obliging disposition. When sober, he was a most 
Invaluable clerk, and he wrote a beautiful hand, and 
showed great skill, carefulness, and neatness in every- 
thing he did, even in the very mending of pens, which 
many ladies, knowing that this was a special forte of 
his, used to employ him to do for them. 

There are no clerks like him now ; they have died 
out like the old shopkeepers and the old servants ; l^e 

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was perhaps the last of the race in Inverness, old- 
fashioned, quaint, humble, respectful, eccentric, shy, 
with one failing, but with a heart of gold t 

There was another character who was as well-known 
at the street comers of Inverness as Knockie himself. 
This was John Macrae, who went by the name of 
" Macrae the Poet," and who might have been seen 
every day sauntering along High Street, in a blue coat 
with brass buttons, a grey plaid, and wide hat, 
murmuring to himself, and with his "eye in a fine 
frenzy rolling ". Macrae had once been head waiter 
in an hotel in Inverness, and was an amiable and 
inoffensive man. He got a book of poems and songs 
printed in the year i8i6, and a pamphlet in the year 
1832, and continued to get various pieces printed 
from time to time until his death. When any person 
of good position died in Inverness, Macrae was sure to 
compose a lament for the occasion, for which he 
usually got a present of money. If any acquaintance 
addressed a remark to him on the street, he generally 
replied to it in rhyme, which seemed to come more 
readily to his lips than anything else, so that people 
often accosted him for the sake of puzzling him with 
some word with which another could not readily be 
found to correspond in sound. He was generally 
followed by a dog, on whose collar was the inscrip- 
tion, " I am John Macrae's dog. Whose dog are 
you ? " 



Another character well-known in days of old, was 
" Cockle Gumming " (son of Mr. Lachlan Gumming of 
Muiriield House), whose name was probably a cor- 
ruption of " Goggle Gumming," as he had peculiarly 
round staring eyes. He was a tall slender young man, 
with a very red face, and always wore a broad 
H^hland bonnet on the side of his head, checked 
trousers, and often a plaid across his shoulders. He 
took particularly long strides as he went along the 
road, and swung his arms in a most conspicuous 
manner, glancing from side to side with an expression 
which signified that he considered himself "the 
glass of fashion and the mould of form, th' observed 
of all observers ". 

He was a harmless individual, and spent the greater 
part of his existence in fishing in the lochs and burns 
of Inverness -shire, and in admiring the fair sex. He 
was as susceptible as Dalmigavie, and the objects of 
his adoration were generally young ladies in a higher 
social sphere than his own, and with whom he had 
never exchanged words. The manner in which he 
testified his devotion for any lady was always by 
leaving a basket of trout of his own fishing at her 
door, with " Mr. Cumming's compliments " ; and 
often the lady for whom they were intended had no 
idea who the swain was to whom she was indebted for 
the offering. 

One favourite resort of " Cockle Cumming's " was 

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Dnimmond wood. He might often be seen saunter- 
ing along the side of the Aultnaskiah burn, with his 
fishing basket slung across his back, or else stretched 
on the mossy bank, gazing sentimentally on the bits 
of blue sky, seen through the overhanging branches, 
and evidently musing on some lady love — perhaps 
composing "A woful ballad to his mistress' eyebrow". 

Kennedy Macnab was a character who mixed much 
more in local public affairs than any of those hitherto 
named, and was far from being harmless, being, in 
fact, held in almost universal dread. His uncle had 
been tutor in the CuUoden family, and ,his father 
factor on the Culloden property, and Kennedy himself 
was for a long time clerk in the Culloden tile-works, 
and might have risen to a good position, for he was 
singularly clever and intelligent ; but he became the 
slave of debasing habits, and turned his talents to no 
good account 

For a long time he was Editor of a newspaper in 
Inverness called The Reformer, in which he merci- 
lessly held up to ridicule and abuse every person to 
whom he had the slightest dislike. There was hardly 
any gentleman in Inverness who escaped having some 
scandal narrated about him in The Reformer. Even 
ladies had their behaviour commented upon in the 
pages of this dreaded newspaper, which was particu- 
larly severe upon such among them as were not gifted 
with much humility. There was no race of men to 



whom Macnab seemed to have such a dislike as 
lawyers. No copy of The Reformer ever appeared 
without one of the profession being attacked, and on 
many occasions the Editor was taken before the 
SherifT for Hbel, and was once even lodged in jail ; 
but in many instances he had some slight foun- 
dation on which to build his fabric of scandal, 
and this made him a foe to be dreaded all the more. 
There were only one or two lawyers in the town 
towards whom he seemed to have no ill-will, and 
whose names were never mentioned in the columns of 
his paper. 

Kennedy used to go about the streets dressed in a 
slovenly manner, as if he had slept all night in his 
clothes ; and with his hands always stuck in his 
trouser pockets, and his broad Highland bonnet 
perched on the side of his head. There were many 
people who shrank from the gaze of his keen, bold, 
black eyes, and turned down the nearest lane or close 
to avoid him, for the objects of his hate and mockery 
were many — theobjects of his respect and approval few. 
He was, however, capable of feeling intense gratitude 
for trifling favours — gratitude which lasted long after 
the remembrance of the favours had entirely faded 
from the minds of the bestowers ; and this trait in 
his character, combined with his ready appreciation of 
consistent and unostentatious excellence, may be 
considered not only as redeeming him from deserving 

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to be considered entirely evil, but as proving that he 
possessed at least two good qualities which are too 
often wanting among those who rank high in the 
world's esteem. 

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^ those days there were few public 
charities in Inverness, and subscrip- 
tion lists were rarely published in the 
papers, but an immense deal was given 
away in private charity, and a strong personal interest 
was felt in the recipients. Each family had its own 
pet be^ars, who called regularly on particular days 
of the week, and received hot broth — for a pot was 
boiled on these days specially for them — and had 
their aprons or baskets filled with broken bread and 
meat, potatoes and meal, besides r^[ularly receiving 
money and old clothes at longer intervals. Many of 
these pensioners consisted of idiots or half-witted 
creatures such as are now always confined in asylums 
or poorhouses, but some of them had only a " want," 
and were able to earn a precarious livelihood by 
going errands, putting in coals, or carrying luggage 
to the coach. 

Prominent among those latter was Walter Sim, 
the town porter, a respectful and courteous individual 



of unimpeachable honesty and fidelity, who might be 
seen hanging about the doors of the principal shops, 
with a rope round his neck, his lank black hair 
hanging down to his shoulders, his mild brown eyes 
beaming with pleasure at the sight of any of his 

Walter did not like to be classed with b^^ars, 
and always declined eating with them. His great 
ambition was to be considered a footman at one of 
the houses which he frequented several times a week. 
On one occasion, while seated in his ragged clothes 
and nearly soleless shoes, in the kitchen of one of the 
families that patronised him (all alone, as the servants - 
were busy up stairs), a messenger arrived with a letter, 
vtfhich she declined leaving until she could deliver it 
into the hands of one of the servants, " It will be 
quite safe with me," said Walter, solemnly and 
grandly, " for I am the footman." " I did not know 
they kept a footman," said the girl, laughing. " I am 
the daily footman," was Walter's reply ; " I do not 
reside in the house." 

Walter wrote a great quantity of what he styled 
" poetry ". If a birth, marriage, or death occurred 
among the families of his patrons, or if any one 
related to them sailed for abroad, Walter always 
made the event the subject of one of his poems, 
which seldom contained less than twenty verees, 
and he used at once to proceed to the house with a 

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;opy of his poetical effusions, and request that it 
ihould be sent upstairs with " Walter's compliments ". 

When he had made up his mind to get married, 
he called at the office of a solicitor who had always 
been very kind to him, and requested the head clerk 
to lend him a coat to wear at the ceremony. The 
loan was granted, but we need hardly say that 
Walter was not permitted to return it He was 
very loyal, and named his eldest daughter for the 
Queen, while the second was called " Patricia," for a 
gentleman who had befriended him. 

Walter was never known to ask for money, but a 
message from the kitchen that " Walter had called 
to inquire for the health of the family," was always 
taken as a hint that he was badly off, and there were 
several families where that modest hint was never 
given in vain, for poor Walter — always obliging, 
polite, gentle and trustworthy — was a universal 
favourite. He picked up a precarious livelihood by 
putting in coals (for they were not then sent round 
in b^s), and by shovelling away snow from the 
pavements in winter, as well as by doing occasional 
errands ; but long fasts and exposure to the weather 
at last quite broke down his slight and delicate frame, 
and a time came when Walter's well-known form was 
no longer seen at any shop door, fmd his low and 
humble bow, and meek, pathetic smile, no longer 
greeted his benefactors. 

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" Water Lexy " was an aged woman who had 
acquired that name from having maintained herself 
in her earlier days by carrying pails of water from 
the river to the houses in town, at the time when no 
water had been introduced there by pipes. With the 
introduction of pipes into the houses, Lexy's occupa- 
tion ceased, and she was reduced to beggary, for she 
was by that time too old to learn to support herself 
in any other way. 

She resided in Grant's Close, off High Street, 
together with a sister, who, being in weak health, was 
confined to the house and was dependent on Lexy 
for support, but who was able occasionally to earn a 
trifle by taking in a few light articles of clothing to wash 
— ^having been a good laundress in her younger days. 
That Lexy sometimes throve well by her be^ng 
may be inferred from the fact that a neighbour, who 
called to see them one morning on business, found 
the two sisters enjoying a luxurious breakfast, con- 
sisting of tea, bread and cheese, a roasted haddock, 
and a dram for each 1 

Lexy was bent nearly double, and her enormous feet 
had never any better covering than footless stockings 
and carpet shoes, so tattered that they had to be tied 
on with pieces of twine. She had a very melancholy 
and mild expression, and spoke very little and in a 
low and humble voice. 

Walter Sim and she frequented the same houses. 



and invariably met there on such days as Christmas, 
but the briefest possible greeting passed between them 
then, for Walter, although humble and deferential to 
his superiors, had a particulariy distant manner to his 
fellow-pensioners, and considered himself several pegs 
above this poor, broken-down water-woman. Lexy 
never resented his manner, nor did she ever answer 
back when found fault with by any one. All spirit 
seemed to have been crushed out of her, as well as all 
pleasure in life. However, when a sixpence or shilling 
was dropped into her lai^, bony, shaking hand, or a 
plate of hot broth was placed before her, she never 
failed to make a low and deferential curtsey and to 
utter courteous and grateful thanks. Children were 
very fond of her, for her manner to them was always 
tender, and they never failed to hear her address each 
of them as " M'eudal bhochd ". She must have been 
a great age when she died, but she predeceased her 
acquaintance Walter by many years. 

" Big Bell " was superior in appearance to either of 
the individuals we have just described. She was 
always exquisitely clean and neat, and invariably 
wore a blue printed cotton gown with white spots 
(what is called the " bird's-eye " pattern), a scarlet 
shawl, a snow-white muslin cap with frills, a yellow 
silk handkerchief bandaged across her brow, white 
woollen stockings and carpet slippers or neat shoes. 

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Her manner was particularly gentle and courteous, 
and she dearly loved young people. 

Her favourite place of resort was the " Grocery " on 
High Street (where she and many other old women 
used to assemble to receive presents of tea and sugar 
from Mr. Simpson), but there were several kitchens in 
private houses which she honoured with frequent calls, 
and she would have been indeed indignant had she been 
treated there in the light of a beggar. She resided 
in a garret on Tomnahurich Street, of which she used 
to give terrifying accounts to the children of her 
patrons, for it was infested by rats, and Bell had 
always to keep a big stick beside her bed during the 
night, with which to frighten them away. 

A brother of Bell's having died in the West Indies, 
left ;^i8o to be equally divided among herself and a 
brother and sister, but her relatives — thinking that 
they might easily outwit so weak-minded a creature — 
tried to defraud her of it, and Bell discovered tiiat 
her brother and his wife were on the eve of starting 
for America with her share of the monqf. She at 
once consulted a solicitor in whose kitchen she had 
been a frequent guest, and he not only undertook her 
case, but caused her to come forth victorious, though, 
of course, his services were rendered gratuitously. 
Bell was deeply grateful, and at once bought a large 
quantity of cakes, fruit, and confections for the 
children of her benefactor, and declared her intention 

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of making them her legatees. This desire of hers, 
however, was over-ruled, but she could not be pre- 
vented from making a will in which the lawyer's 
sister-in-law, nephew, and cook were named as her 

She never made arrangements to change her abode 
or to buy any piece of furniture without first going to 
her legatees to ask whether they approved or whether 
they considered that their legacy might be too greatly 
diminished by so much outlay. Of c6urse their 
approval was always obtained, and they were not the 
least surprised that when poor Bell died, all the money 
that was left was only what sufficed to cover the 
expenses of her burial. 

Nanny Do Dolan was a very different kind of in- 
dividual from either " Water Lexy " or " Big Bell ". 
Although half-witted like them, she had none of their 
amiability and kindliness, their love for children, or 
their good principles and trustworthiness. On the 
contrary, she was the terror of all the children in the 
neighbourhood, and her drunkenness and love of 
quarrelling were proverbial. She maintained herself 
principally by buying fish for several of the shop- 
keepers and carrying it to their customers in the 
country, and she sometimes had to carry her basket 
as great a distance as thirty miles from Inverness. 

Well does the writer remember when at the age of 
six years, being on a visit twenty-four miles from 

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Inverness and at play on the banks of Loch Ness, 
hearing; one day the loud and dreaded tones of Nanny 
Do Dolan shouting out from between the birch trees 
at the top of the bank above the loch, " I have found , 
you at last ", Nanny was then on her way with fish 
to the Inn at Invermoriston, and having rect^nised 
one of the Inverness children whom she loved to 
torment, she thought it good sport to shout out this 
remark, and then go away leaving her victim half 
dead with fright. 

It was quite sufficient for the nursery maids of In- 
verness at this period, when their charges were 
naughty or would not go to sleep, to whisper, " I will 
send for Nanny Do Dolan," for all they wished for 
was then at once effected. The servant girls them- 
selves used also to dread her, for she delighted in 
tormenting them, and at the time when all the water 
had to be conveyed from the river, she used to come 
behind and overthrow their pails. Several anecdotes 
illustrative of Nanny's quarrelsome propensities and 
great bodily strength are related in the Second Part 
of Munro's Recollections of Inverness, which was pub- 
lished in 1870 — seven years later than the First Part, 
to which we have already alluded. 

Her honesty was far from unimpeachable, and her 
love for drink was notorious, but she possessed a con- 
siderable amount of humour and shrewdness. The 
writer well remembers seeing her conveyed quite help- 

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less and intoxicated in a wheel-barrow to the old "Black 
Hole " on Bridge Street amid the shouts and jeers of 
a crowd of boys. During her latter days she became 
better conducted and more amiable, but still there are 
many middle-aged citizens of Inverness, both at home 
and abroad, who can hardly recall without a shudder 
the vision of old Nanny as she shook her fist in their 
faces on the street, with the question hissing from her 
lips, " Are you good bairns the day ? " A cousin of 
the writer's took a portrait (in crayons) of her in 
this attitude, which is still in good preservation. 

For a long time Nanny and her mother resided 
together in a thatched cottage on the site of Mr. 
Smith the hairdresser's present shop. The mother 
attained a great age, and was long bedridden before 
she died. The fact of her being Nanny Do Dolan's 
mother caused her to be regarded by the young 
people of that period as something " uncanny ". A 
lady, who was a little school girl at that time, told 
the writer that she and her young companions used 
to find a strange fascination in going, on their way 
from school, to have a peep in at one of the windows 
of the cottage, in order to watch the old woman 
sitting up in bed, combing her white hair, and mutter- 
ing to herself. They were always in fear and trem- 
bling, however, lest Nanny should appear on the 
scene and chastise them for taking such a liberty. 

" Foolish Mary " had at one time been a servant in 

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many respectable families, but an unfortunate love 
affair had upset her reason. She lived alone in a 
garret at the foot of Academy Street, and had no 
means of subsistence except the charity which was 
given to her in the kitchens which she frequented. 
She always wore an old knitted cap, a little shawl and 
an apron of printed cotton, and was celebrated for 
anything but cleanliness. She was rarely heard to 
utter any word except " ay " or " no," and her expres- 
sion was that of deep moodiness and gloom. If 
teased or irritated, she could be roused to the fiercest 
anger and rage, and has often been known to fling a 
knife at whatever servant girl might have offended 
her, or to chase her with the kitchen poker, her eyes 
meanwhile blazing with maniacal fury. At other 
times, however, she was quite harmless and subdued. 
Servants who were inclined to be lazy often em- 
ployed Mary to help them in such offices as picking 
fowls, cleaning knives, brushing shoes, &c., and as 
Mary knew quite well that they disobeyed their 
mistress's orders in doing so, she always consented to 
be locked in the cellar, at the sound of any footstep 
coming downstairs from the dining-room, if engaged 
in any of these avocations. She was always, how- 
ever, permitted to have a meal of good broth or meat 
in a number of kitchens in Inverness, for her miser- 
able fate had gained the pity of all who were 
acquainted with her former history. Although she 

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connived with the servant girls in concealing the 
shirking of their work, she had not sufficient sense to 
cany out the deception when questioned, and when 
asked, " What were you doing in the cellar, Mary ? " 
she would always reply, " Pickee hen," or " Blackee 
shoe ". 

She sometimes liked to get an old piece of faded 
ribbon to put in her knitted cap, for it seemed to 
remind her dimly of former days when she had been 
a young servant girl as smart looking and as giddy as 
those who now made her their slave and butt 

Another " Foolish Mary," more commonly called 
" Mary Stoddart " to distinguish her from the other, 
was quite a different kind of individual. She was a 
stout, rosy-cheeked, barefooted, jovial character, who 
went about the country without shawl or bonnet, 
singing and dancing, but who could, nevertheless, be 
roused to rage if teased, and chased and pelted with 
stones any children who tormented her. 

She was a much greater favourite than the other 
" Foolish Mary," on account of her high spirits and 
love of fun, and could easily be induced by the promise 
of a penny or a cup of tea, to sing a Gaelic song or 
dance the Highland Fling. Her entrance into any 
kitchen was generally preceded by loud yells called 
forth by the jeers of the boys who had followed her 
along the street, and it generally took some time to 
pacify her, but once her good humour was restored. 

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she was ready to contribute everything in her power 
to the general merriment 

She and the other Mary had a great dislike to, 
and a great jealousy of, each other. It was no joke 
when they met in the same kitchen, for the slightest 
circumstance roused their ire, and caused them to be 
at daggers drawn, and it often occasioned the greatest 
ingenuity to separate the two enemies, and induce 
one of them to withdraw quietly and leave the field 
open for the other. When every other means failed, 
a penny proved the most efficacious and successful 

" Ally with the Petticoats " was so named on 
account of his always wearing, instead of trousers, a 
long petticoat down to his ankles. He was a big, 
stout man, and was generally barefooted, but always 
wore a broad Highland bonnet, jacket and waistcoat, 
and a long blue and white checked apron, filled with 
meal and potatoes, which he got in the various 
houses he frequented, and which he kept devouring 
as he waddled along the streets. He was very quiet 
and inoffensive, but used to be constantly muttering 
or singing to himself, and generally cairied about 
with him a hall of worsted and a darning needle, 
with which he attempted to darn his long petticoat 
when he sat down to rest on a doorstep. 

His principal enjoyment consisted in attending all 
the sacramental gatherings which took place in con- 



nection with the various Presbyterian churches in the 
Highlands, especially those which were held in the 
open air. Whenever the Rev. Doctor Kennedy of 
Dingwall held a sacramental service in the Inverness 
Chapelyard, Ally was sure to be there, making 
tremendous strides from one tombstone to another 
sometimes even trying to step over the bowed heads 
of the congregation, as they sat listening to the 
minister's address, and thereby having a most dis- 
turbing effect on their devotions. His love and 
admiration for ministers were extreme, and great 
indeed was his glee if one of them condescended to 
take notice of him, and address a few friendly words 
to him. 

When the Rev. Alexander Clark of the West 
(Established) Church died, leaving behind him a 
fragrant memory, which will long be cherished in 
Inverness, poor Ally attended his funeral, one of the 
truest mourners there. When night came on, and 
the poor wanderer had not returned to his humble 
dwelling, search was made for him, and he was found 
stretched on his benefactor's grave, weeping and 
wailing with a grief that refused to be comforted. 

There was another foolish Ally, who sometimes 
went by the name of " Allaidh na h-ibhala," on 
account of his having no palate, and at other times 
by the name of " Lady Saltoun's Fool," because that 
lady — grandmother of the present Lord Saltoun — 

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allowed him a small yearly income and the run of 
her kitchen, whenever he liked to go there. 

When the writer remembers him, he was a very 
old man of a weak, bent frame, and with white hair, 
and a long, n^ged beard. He was quite harmless, 
but owing to the want of a palate, his voice always 
sounded peculiar and uncouth, and it was so 
difficult to understand any word he uttered, that 
he generally had to make known his requests by 

He lived on Lady Saltoun's estate, and used to 
come into town to do mess^es for her^ household on 
market days. He also r^ularly attended church in 
Inverness on Sundays, and often was allowed to come 
in on the back seat of Lady Saltoun's carriage He 
was arrayed in cast-ofF, faded livery with brass 
buttons, under a r^ged cloak, and regarded himself 
as one of the servants at Ness Castle, although he did 
not consider it beneath his dignity to receive a penny 
or a bowl of meal in many an Inverness kitchen. 
There was nothing he liked better than being ques- 
tioned about Lady Saltoun. 

In his younger days it had been the fashion for the 
old County families in the Highlands to keep a 
character like Ally always hanging about their 
kitchens, who got regular wages, cast-off livery, and 
plentiful meals, and was expected in return to afford 
mirth to both master and servants. To have a 

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regular " Fool " in the kitchen was always a mark of 

There was an old man who came to reside at Nairn, 
and who used to visit Inverness twice a year — never 
failing to come at the time of the Northern Meeting, 
when he attended the games and listened with delight 
to the pipe music He went by the name of " Lord 
John Russell," as he fancied he was that nobleman, 
and actually bore a strong resemblance to him. He 
always went about bareheaded and barefooted, and 
though often offered a hat and shoes, no power could 
induce him to wear them. His hair was snow-white 
and his appearance very striking. No one knew 
where he originally came from, what he had been, or 
what his real name was, although it was generally 
believed to be Russell. He always expressed himself 
in the language of an educated man, and his manner 
was so superior — even refined — as to give rise to the 
opinion that he had at one time held the position of a 
gentleman. The mystery about him was never solved, 
nor what had overthrown his intellect ; but there can 
be no doubt that the poor wanderer had once moved 
in a much higher social sphere than that in which he 
was known in the North. There are many Invemes- 
sians who still speak of him as " the gentleman," and 
no one who remembers him at all could speak without 
kindliness and pity of poor " Lord John ". 

" Eeldy Aldy " was the nickname of a poor idiot 

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lad, who roamed about the streets barefooted and 
bareheaded, and clad in a very long shepherd-tartan 
kilt His principal amusement consisted in running 
away with the door-mats from all the houses in town, 
so that his old mother, who was an honest, decent 
woman, was obliged to neglect her home and other 
children and follow Eeldy wherever he might wander, 
so as to keep guard over his purloining propensities. 
Sometimes, however, he was too quick for her, and 
would have seized a mat and rushed away with it 
round the comer of the street before she had time to 
stop him. It was a very usual thing for Eeldy's mother 
to arrive at some gentleman's kitchen late at night 
with a mat which her son had carried away during 
the day. She soon learnt to recc^ise the various 
mats in town, and seldom made a mistake in carrying 
the right ones to their respective owners, 

Eeldy did not always coniine his depredations to 
mats. If he could only get inside a house, nothing 
came amiss to him, but his poor mother's aim was to 
prevent his entering any house at all. When evening 
came she always tried to keep him locked up, but this 
was no easy task, and he often eluded her vigilance. 

The writer recollects when very young being once 
seated alone in the dining-room when the table was 
laid for tea, and being suddenly startled by the 
entrance of the tall, bare-legged Eeldy Aldy, who 
seized a loaf from the table, held it high above his 

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"EELDY ALDY." 1 8/ 

head with a triumphant grin, and glided out with his 
prize as noiselessly as he had entered. He had come 
in by the back entrance, had run up a stairs leading 
from the lower regions, and now made his exit by the 
same route, without being heard by any of the ser- 
vants, and before the child who saw him had time to 
give the alarm. 

Eeldy was very good-natured, and never got into 
rages although often teased by boys. He was rarely 
seen without his poor mother running after him, or 
hangingon to his jacket, so that the expression,"Always 
together like Eeldy Aldy and his mother," became 
quite a proverb in Inverness, and was used to denote 
inseparable companions. 

John Morgan was a half-witted creature, who picked 
up a precarious livelihood as a porter, like Walter 
Sim, and might often be seen going about with a 
hurley, whistling and singing to himself. He was 
very good-natured and ready to do any errand. 

At an earlier date three idiots, named Bobby All, 
Big John, and Ally Watson, had gained much cele- 
brity in Inverness. Bobby All was a miserable-looking 
little creature, who was full of impish tricks, and used 
to roam about the streets — often through the night as 
well as through the day — uttering extraordinary 

Big John was a tall powerful man, who was kindly 
permitted by Mr, Wilson of the Caledonian Hotel to 

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have his bed and board there, and who used to hang 
about the door of the hotel speaking to every one who 
passed in or out He was excessively fond of snuff, 
and used to go to all the shops and accost every 
passer-by with demands for some to put into his snuff- 
box. Visitors to the hotel were in the habit of giving 
him not only plenty of snuff but plenty of money. 

Ally Watson was a tall, erect man, who always 
went about without any covering on his head or feet, 
and was so good natured and obliging, that he was a 
universal favourite. When asked where he had slept 
during the previous night, he always answered, " In 
the wherry " — meaning the ferry — and added, when 
asked if he had felt it uncomfortable, " It was like an 
icicle ". 

Ally Watson always did whatever he was told 
however ridiculous it might be. If carrying a pail of 
water from the river, and told to pour it out on the 
street or leave it standing there, he did so at once. 
One day while holding a little child in his arms and 
playing with it, a mischievous boy told him to throw 
it down, so without a moment's hesitation, he dashed 
it on the pavement, and it died from the effects of 
the injuries received. Poor Ally was from that time 
banished to the Infirmary, where he was kept in 
confinement among the lunatics, and died soon 
afterwards. ■ His death had no doubt been hastened 
by his being deprived of his freedom, and debarred 

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"SEtiN NAM p6CAIDEAN." 1 89 

from the rambles to which he had been accustomed 
all his life. 

Many years ago an extraordinary little woman 
used to visit Inverness, who is remembered by hardly 
any one living now. She was called " Seitn nam 
picaidean," or "Jenny of the pockets," on account , 
of her upper garment — which could hardly be called 
a gown — being covered with pockets from her neck 
to her ankles. 

Once, after a long absence in Glen-Urquhart, she 
entered " Donald Iron's " shop, and he said to her, 
" Where have you been all this long time, Jenny ? " 
" Oh, I have been to the moon." " Indeed ! And 
how did you manage to get up there ? " " Oh, the 
going up was nothing, it was the coming down that 
was difficult." " And how did you manage that ? " 
" I went into a shop in the moon, and I bought 
twopence worth of soft soap, and rubbed it on the 
soles of my feet, and then I slipped down on a 

At a still earlier period, Inverness was occasionally 
visited by a veiy remarkable character, who belonged 
to the Aird, and whose real name was James Mac- 
kenzie, but who was better known in the country by 
the appellation of " the Ceannaiche " (or merchant), as 
he used to roam about with a bundle of books and 
pamphlets for sale, through Glen-Urquhart (where he 
had a brother a schoolmaster) and also through Glen- 



moriston and Kintail. In these districts he was always 
gladly welcomed, and got a night's lodging in many a 

It was in his youth that he was thus a wanderer, 
and there is no one now alive who was acquainted 
with the Ceannaiche then, but there are a very few 
people who remember him as he was in his old age, 
when his wanderings were over, and he had settled 
down in Glenmoriston, which he had so long fre- 
quented, that he felt more at home there than in his 
birthplace, the Aird. 

The Ceannaiche was half-witted, but he was a great 
reader of poetry, and a lover of books in general, 
especially dictionaries, which he used to devour from 
beginning to end, so that he was always able to afford 
information as to the signification of any word not in 
general use. 

He had also actually taught himself French, Latin, 
Greek, Hebrew, and astronomy ! It was a most re- 
markable thing that one who had a decided " want," 
and was quite incapable of managing the ordinary 
affairs of life, should have possessed such intellectual 
tastes and such a power of application for study. He 
always expressed himself like a well-educated person, 
and had an extraordinary love for the society of ladies 
and gentlemen. In fact, he quite shrank from inter- 
course with persons in his own rank of life. 

The late Mr. James Murray Grant of Glenmoriston 

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paid for the Ceannaiche's board in the Glen, and 
entirely supported him, so that he always had leisure 
for his favourite pursuits, and although he always 
assisted in threshing com at some of the farms, he used 
often to rest in the midst of doing so in order to write 
down translations from some Greek or Hebrew book. 
When the family in whose kitchen the Ceannaiche 
had for years been permitted to take his meals — and 
to sit by the fire pouring over his books, before retiring 
to rest in his little room above the stable — quitted 
their home at the top of the Glen, the poor old man 
mourned their departure with a grief that refused to 
be consoled. He had now no educated persons near 
him with whom he could converse. According to 
himself, he had " no society but that of clowns ". 
There was no one to whom he could read the trans- 
lations which he daily wrote down from his beloved 
books, no one who could appreciate or enter with in- 
terest into his studies of the planets and stars. His 
favourite pursuits now lost their charm for him, since 
no kindred spirit was at hand to encourage and sym- 
pathise, and his intellect rapidly began to become more 
and more clouded and confused. He gave up writing 
and reading, and used to spend hours in the company 
of a little dog and a lame chicken which his benefac- 
tors had left behind, and to speak to them as if they 
could understand and could enter into all his grief and 

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There was a little old woman who lived in a little 
turf-roofed cottage on the same farm, and whom he 
considered better fitted than any other human being 
to enter into his feelings, for not only was she as 
courteous and gentle-mannered as himself, and as 
elevated in her ideas, but her attachment to the family 
on whose farm she had long lived was equal in inten- 
sity to his own. Her name was Mary Macdonald, but 
she generally went by the name of " The Lady," or 
" Lady Hood," from being in the habit of constantly 
talking about Lady Hood, mother of the late Seaforth. 

Mary was in her way quite as remarkable a cha- 
racter as the Ceannaiche himself, although there 
certainly was no deficiency in her intellect, On the 
contrary, she possessed extraordinary shrewdness, 
sense, and intelligence. In her youth she had gone 
regularly to the shearing, not only in Ross-shire and 
various northern counties, but in Midlothian, and had 
thus been able each year to lay by a little sum of 
money. She had very often been shearing in the 
neighbourhood of Brahan, and had thus acquired her 
knowledge of the lady who became her favourite 

Mary could not speak a word of English, and 
could neither read nor write, but she possessed 
a most poetical nature, and expressed herself in 
language which would not have disgraced an orator. 
She was famous for her composition of Gaelic songs, 

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"LADY HOOD." 193 

set to the most exquisite airs, and filled with the 
most beautiful ideas and images. No event of con- 
sequence ever occurred in the family of the gentleman 
on whose fann she had long lived, without Lady Hood 
composing an ode for the occasion. The beauty of 
the language, the elevation of the sentiments, and the 
true poetic fervour which -pervaded all her effusions, 
were most singular when we consider that she was 
perfectly uneducated and could speak only the Gaelic 

Both the Ceannaiche and his friend Lady Hood 
lived to see more than ninety years. The former had 
sunk into a state of complete idiocy for some time 
before his death, but the intellect of Lady Hood was 
clear and vigorous to the last. She did not die of old 
age, but fell a victim to the kindness of her heart. 
She had always been extremely generous to all who 
were poorer than herself, and one evening when a 
beggar woman knocked at her door and craved a 
nighfs lodging, on the plea of feeling very ill, the 
request was cordially grants. The illness turned out 
to be a malignant fever. Lady Hood nursed the 
beggur woman, took the infection from her, and died. 

The like of herself and the Ceannaiche will never 
be met with in Inverness-shire again. They, like 
many of the characters described in this book, could 
have existed only among the peculiar associations and 
surroundings of a time " Before Railways ". 


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Works PublisheQ bv A. and \V. Mackenzie, t 

Price, Demy 8vo, 25s.; Demy Quarto, 42s., 


With Authentic Genealogies of Ihe Principal Families of the Name, to the 
present time. By Alkxandeh Mackenzie, F.S.A., Scot. In r hand- 
some volume of close upon 50a pages. Demy 8vo, printed in dear bold 
old-faced type (Small Pica), on superfine, thick, toned paper, Roxburghe 
binding, uniform with the "History of the Maclteniies" and the ■' History 
of Ihe Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles ". The iisat is itricify limiltd 
losoo Copia. Demy Sso, and H Co^i, Danj 4to. The work embraces the 
history and genealogy of the family of Lochiel, from the eiirliest limes to 
the present ; as also, under separate headings, Erracht, Fassiefem, Glenevis, 
Worcester, Lundavra, Dawnie, Barcaldine, and several of the minor 
branches of the Clan, with (heir marriages and other connecUons, and an 
account of Dr. Archibald Cameron of the Forty-five, and of bis desceodanta. 

Lochiel, the chief of the Camerons, writes: — "Your History ef the 
Camirons nalQmlly possesses greater interest for me than for most peop?«, 
and I congratulate you on the ability which enabled you to add so valuable 
a contribution to our acquaintance with the Highland Clans ". 

" Mr. Mackeniie has already earned for himself a very high reputation 
for his histories of the Mackenzies. the Macdonalds, .ind Ihe MalhesonK ; 
and now, within an incredibly short space of time, Scottish histoiy is made 
richer by an elaborate and most interesting history of the important 
Cameron clan. The industry of Mr. Mackenzie is beyond all praise. 
Those who may have had occasion to trace the genealogies of some of our 
great families know what a laborious task it is, and how little there is often 
to show tor the work involved. The material is frequently of Ihe scantiest, 
and however much those most closely associated with the families are willing 
to assist, it is sometimes beyond their power to give very much help. When 
the labour of tracing the origin and history of a single family is so great, it 
~ will readily be understood that the preparadon of a history of a whole clan is 
a truly herculean taslt To Mr. Mackeniie, however, the work has evidently 
been a pleasure. He has selected the post of historian of the Highland 
dans from pure love of the subject ; he has set himself to his work with true 
Highland ardour, and the volumes he has already produced have been 


3 ^yoRKS Published by A. and W. MackeHzie 

emlnentlf satisCactoiT. The present mluroe we regard as one of the moat 
valuable and iniereilinB of the whole. The Clan Cameron fills a large ptets 
in Highland history, and the work thronghout is, consequently, full of 
stirring; episodes, while the origin of the clan and the history of the main 
branches are traced in the most painsuking and amlienlic manner. The 
book throughout is very interesting, and the index is most copious and 
accurate, adding very much to the value of the book as a work of cefer- 
eaae."^Ferlhihin Corutiliilnmal. 

" Mr. Alexander Mackenzie has added another volume (o his memoirs 
of Highland famiUes. In addition to the histories of the Mackenzies and 
the Macdonalds, previously published^ be has completed and issued the 
History of ikt Cametvru, a handsome, well-printed volume, extending to 
nearly five himdred pages. The author, as usual, has spared no pains to 
auive at the genealogy of the vaiions brunches of tbe Cameron race. The 
value of the work is enbanced by a carefully com[Hled and copious index." 
—lavtnusi Cimritr. 

" Having in previous years produced histories of the Mackendes, the 
Macdonalds, and the Mathesons, Mr. Alexander Mackenrie, the editor of 
the Ctllic Magaiini, now favours us with a fourth massive volume of nearly 
five hundred pages, giving a History of Ikt Camerati, with Genealogies oif 
tlie Principal Families of the name. Tbe record is remarkable for its com- 
pleteness, especially when we take into account the difficulties that had to 
be overcome in the execution of the herculean task— a task made all the 
niore laborious by the fact that very little help could be afforded even by 
the heads of the leading families of the clan, however willing they may have 
been to give it. One peculiarly attractive feature of the noble volume is the 
very full and vivid account that is given of the career of General Sir Allan 
Cameron of Erracht, K.C.R, and equal justice is rendered to another illns- 
soldieiof the clan, Colond John Cameron of Fassiefem. It is deeply 

sting to trace the stories of tlie numerous branches of the house, many 

of whose members distinguished themselves in every walk of life, not only 
in the land of their nativity, but also in England aod in the oolonies." — Tm 
AuiAort/" lAterary Notit " imOi North British Daily Mail. 

Jn Paper Covers, 6d., Clotk Gilt, is. By Post, 2d. extra. 




Lord Napier writes :— " Your Analysis of the ' Report of the Royal 
Commission,' which I have read, is far the most accurate acoooat of tba 
Imparl of oui proposals which 1 have seen ", 

N Google 

Works Pubusukd bv A. amd W. Mackenzie. 3 

" Mr. Mackeniie, the well-known edilor of the CeUic Magazini, knows 
more about the Highlands and Highlanders than any man now living, and 
for this reason his Analysis of the Report of Ihe Royal Commissioners who 
recently inquired into the condition and grievances of the croflers is 
eminently worthy of public attention. Mr, Mackeniie not only analyses 
and epitomises the Report, but he criticises il likewise, pointing out its 
defects, as well as its excellencies. Many persons who could not find time 
to wade through the Report itself will be thankful lo Mi. Mackeniie for 
famishing them with the careful and discriminating analysis of it. from 
which they will be able to gather alt they care to know, and Indeed all that 
they require to know In order to an intelligent understanding of the question." 
— Dundet Adi^rliitr. 

" Prepared by the man, who, of all men, Is best filled fbr ihe execution 
of such a task. . . . Drawn up with conspicuous fairness, most 
admirable temper, and in a manner to which no one can take the slightest 
ob)eclion,"— Z<flifcr in Grcauxi TtUgraph. 

" Upon all who are desirous of becoming acquainted with the leading 
features of the Ciofter Commissioners' Report on the condition of the 
Highlands and Islands, Mi, Alexandei Mackenzie, Inverness, the energetic 
editor of the CtllU Magaiine. has conferred a real boon by issuine a pamoh- 
let, extending to about So pages, containing a careful 
analysis of the ponderous volume." — PtopU s Journal. 

"In a well got up pamphlet of 80 pages Mr, Alexander Mackeniie, 
editor of the CeltU Magazine, gives a capital Analysis of the Report of the 
Crofter Comniisslon. He also tests the several recommendaiions of the 
Commissioners by his own knowledge of the drcumstances of the High- 
lands, and shows wherein they are inadequate as a remedy for existing evils. 
The pamphlet is a valuable contribution to an understanding of the CrofKr 
question and the proposals of the Commissioners."— ft rWjAire AdverHser. 

"An able paper." — Northern ChraaitU. 

"Admirable Analysis. . . . It is written by one who is a thorough 
master of the subject, and who writes with moderation, good sense, and 
inost admirable temper." — Leader in Kilmarnock Standard 

Crofters and Cottars." — Leader ia Aitrdeen youi 

"A most excellent Analysis. . . • brought out the m 
points [n a highly snccessful manner."— Cai/*n«j Courier. 

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4 Works Published by A. and W. Mackknzo. 
Price IS. 6d. : By Post 8j. 


From the Battle of Cullodeo to the present time ; containing a reprint of 
Dotutld Madeod's " Gloomy Memories of the Highlands " (now not fnt- 
euraUt for any aumPf), wilh a full Account of (he Glengairy, Knojnlart, 
Stialhglass, Kintail, Glenelg, Skye, Noith and South Uist, Baira, Rum, 
Coigeach, StrathcoDsn. Glencalvie, Leckmelia. Gtendesseray and Loch- 
Arkaig, Breadalbane, Rannoch, Athol, Motvem, Mull, Locbcsnon, and 
several other evictions throughout the Highlands of Scotland. 

Also a full Account of "The Battle of the Braes," and a complete State- 
ment ofalllhepioceedingsinthelSLEOPSKVEDUBiNO 18S3, 
nith a Vtriaiint Stport ^tkt 


y Alssander Mackenzie, F.S.A., Scot.. Editor of the "Celtic 
• Av, oibi ixtotdt It 


A. & W. MACKENZIE, Celtic Ma^situ Office, Inverness. 

" Burning ind^ation takes the place of regret, as one comes to know 
the ruthless savageij Yiith which the Highlands were cleared, and the 
people driven fonh from the lands that were their own. It is indeed* 
fearful and shameful story thai Mr. Mackemje's pages (ell, and he m^ 
well print OD his title-page the weeds, Trtilk it ttraagtr IhoKfitlU*. . 


Works Published by A. And W. HACtMsta. 


Ud MacIceDsecoald not have pablished his book at b more opportnoe time. 
People who want to know wbat is wrong witb Ibe Highlandi will find in )U 
foges what thef seek. , . . Tlie production of this history must lia\4 
inndved much patient labour, but it has beea a labour of love. No matt 
mi better fitted to onderlake the task thau Mr. Mackeode, and we are 
glad to congratulate him on the completeness of his success. Every High- 
lander, every lover of his country, should read and read again this ' Tala 
of what Rome once hath borne — of vhat Rome yet may bear '.'-"Dailjf 

" lliera have been few contributloDs to the Uterature of the Land Laws 
of late years more striking and important, ... the only autheotic and 
coosecntive work upon the history of this sobject. , , . To those who 
wish to know the oppression they [the Highlanders] have groaned nnder 
for countless years, we must recommend Mr. Madcenzle's ^sdnatillg 
pages." — Dtiitdtt Advtriistr. 

"Apart from Ibis valuable repnbUcation [Donald Madeod's 'Gloomy 
Memories'] the volume before us deserves a careful study at the bands of all 
our politicians." — Livirfoel Metciay. 

" Contains a series of ta.bles showing the poptdation of the counties of 
Roth, Argyll, Inverness, Ross, and Qforaarty, .Sutherland, and Caithness, 
at each decennial period from iSoi to 1881, both inclusive, with a tabulated 
statement showing the population of the parishes within those counties in 
iSji, 1G41, 1851, and 1881 ; and !□ the case of Sutherland, the population 
b given for each decade since iSoi. These tables will be found of much 
value Iqr those engaged in the study of the causes which have led to the 
decrease of the rural popnlalion in the Highlaads during the piesent 
century." — Edinhurgh Courant. 

" Mr. Mackenzie has produced a volume that ought to be in the hands 
of every member of the Legislature, and which is simply indispensable ts 
all who would rightly understand the problem now awaiting solution. Him- 
self the son of a croOer, be has rendered a service to that class which wDl 
Kcnre for his name en enduring place in the annals ef Scottish patriotism." 
—The aitkor of •'Literary Notes,- in the Daily Mail. 

"The stoiy from first to last of the unjust usurpation of which (he 
Highland tenants and crofters have been the victims, as unfolded in a 
volume of encyclopsediac fulness, published this week by the able and 
patriotic editor of the Celtic Magatint, is one of the saddest that was ever 
told concerning a patient, God-fearing, and in every way most deserving 
people." — /CilntanxKi Standard. 

" Mr, Mackeniie's hook appears opportunely for those Members of 
Pariiament who are interested in the motion [for a Royal Commission] on 
the position of the Highland Croflers, A considerable portion of the work 
Is taken up with ... a description of the present state of the High- 
ands, a survey of tbe portion held by the Braes Crofters, and by statistical 
tables that give sad confirmation to most of Mr. Mackenzie's statements. 
Ti» luiTativT (htousbont is deeply, often painfully, inteie3tii]g."-^£Mit 



"Mr. Maekeiuie't book ii well gstup, ondibmu » handsome volame, 
— /nvnuu Omrier. 

'' Id a remarkably opportuae goloine, invested with a higher than a men 
litenuy imereil, Mr. Mackenzie supplies ample malerials for aniviag aX a 
judgment on die subject of the Highland Qearances. , . . We thank 
Mr. Mackemie lor his volume ; it is one of the most leasinable that was 
ever issued fnini the Scotdsh press, and we have no doubt Ihal it will 
speedily tie in the hands of tnerj Membec of Parliament who is desirous 
rf doing hb duty."— Ciriiftajir Leader, 

" It has been the task of Mr. Mackemie to publish in a collected fonn 
much of the floating liiei^Cure upon this subject, and to bring down the tad 
story of evictloii to pur own day. His fluent style makes his book emineatly 
readable, and his extensive knowledge of Celtic afiairs al home and abroad 
ensures taaaacj in his statement*. . , , The tale is a tragical and 
moving one, putting to shaoK Ihe wildest mgaiiei of rcmance."— Ait^'j 

" Of the maleriab al his disposal Mr. Mackenae has made eiceDEht tise> 
and not only that, but he shows commendable coaiage in publishing it at 
Ihe present time. . . . It is the only publication that attempts to give 
anything approaching a fall accoDitt of the desolation of the Highlands, 
and the eipatristion of the Highlanders. It is thus a valuable addition to 
the historical Uleralure of the Gael ; and no one can fijrm an intelhgent 
opinion on the present agitation in the Highlands, and the general condition 
of the people, which fiods expression in periodical mendicancy, without 
first studying the facts which Mr. Mackenzie has so fully, and so well, 
placed before the public in the handsome volume before us— a volume 
which we cordially recommend to the attention of oar readers." — Abirdetn 
Daily Free Press. 

" Your book suii^lies a decided detidemtum In the economical history of 
the country, and I will lose no opportunity of pres^g it on the atteotiOD 
of intelligent reaien."~Fniftssar John Sluart BlackU. 

The Prime Minister's secretary writes :~" 1 am directed by Mt. Glad- 
stone to thank you for sending him your ' Highland Clearances,' and to My 
thai he viill examine it tuitk inltresl. ' 

"The book has made Its appearance at an opportune moment. Hie 
relation oF the Highlanders to the lords of the soil forms one of Ihe burn- 
ing questions of the day ; and here we have a complete history of that 
question, and a collection of facts amply suffidenl to enable every unbiassed 
mind to arrive at just and sound conclu^ons regarding it, , . . We 
are certain that it will do important service in hastening Ihe enlightened 
settlement of a question regarding which hitherto mocb ignorance as well 
as much indifferente has prevailed."— Aiw/Awn Entign, 

" No friend of the Crofter shonhl be without Ibis book, and the land- 
lords will be all the belter of ordering it for their libraries. . , . Mr. 
Mackenzie has spared no troutde to make it a thoroughly reliable work. 
His temerity in publishing details . , is on a par with the |ustnesi 
with which be metes out merit and demerit lo Ibe actors in what tew win 


Works Pubushbd by A. and W. Mackenzie 7 

say were necassarf proceedings. . . . One thing iha book bu a»- 
^ed to do — to make capiidous eviction} !□ the Highlands in fCloie im- 
posable."— Oian Timei. 

"There aie few tales more pathetic than that of the thonssnds at 
Sulheriand Croflera wbo .were driven from their native soil and turned oul 
of the homes to which they had a tieller claim than ttiose who expelled 
Ihem.' ' — A thai/tum . 

" The events which are transpiring in Skye and Otbel districts in the 
North of Scotland render this volume one of great national Inteiesl, and 
oite which should be in the bands of all who desire to have an intelligent 
acquaintance with the important questions involved. A great port of the 
work deals with the events of past years, but these events are so closely 
linked to (he present that they may be held to be of the most vital and 
pressing interest. ... No one who shuts bis eyes to the facts which are 
here recorded can claim (□ speak with any authority upon the land question 
in the Highlands of SxaVisai"— Perths&irt ConstituHeKat. 

• ' We heartily commend Mr. Mackenzie's volume of 538 closely-printed 
pages as a valuable storehouse of information to all who are interested la 
the grievances of the Highland Cmflers. , . . We would especially 
advise those who have derived their ideas of the crofteis' grievances from 
the grossly one-sided and sensational statements of (he Scotsman, to read 
(he plain, unvarnished taleof Mr, Mackenzie, who has stndied the qaestioa 
on the spot, and has n*persoiul interest to serve in misleading the pubhc" 
— L^HJon Eehe. 

"A page of history having a most deep and monmfnl interest. Wherever 
and whenever recited the old (ale of the Highland Clearances will excite the 
most intense horror and commiseration. . . . The present history may 
be described as a carefutly-edi ted nu»«iw of all that is worth reading on (he 
mdancboly topic in question." — Livtrfeel Daily Post. 

" Mr. Mackenzie's volume shows how much of suffering and tragedy 
belong to these Islands [Hebrides] and (he mountainous mainland which is 
so fair to see. The History of the Highland Clearances contains a thousand 
(iBgedies in ical life." — MiaiclusUr Bxatxintr. 

" The publication of this work at the present time is peculiarly opportune. 
. . . The author, who is profoundly versed in Celtic history, has col- 
lected with care the opinions on the subject held by the most eminent 
thinkers of Etuope. Moreover, while due attention is given to the past, 
ample details bib famished as to the present. All who are anxious to 
undeistand the unrest of the Hebrides may study Mr. Mackenzie's volume 
with advantage."— A'raeai/iSr Cirenult. 

"The value of the book Is greatly enhanced by the inclusion of the 
statements of contemporary writers, just as they originally appeared. 
Dot only because the evidence would have been less strong if it bad 
been put In the words of the author, but also because some of the old 
books referred to were outofprintand almostimpossibietoobtain. . . , 
Titf iriiole K017 is a record of a tyianuical lue of legal power* donbtlnlly 

L,: ,.,i-,CH)Ogie 

° Works Published by A. ahd W. Mackkkza 

acqolRd. . , . We stronglj recommend the book to the attention of 
all who desire to nnderstaad the portion taken up by the Highland Crollen 
and their supported." — Mart Lumi Exfrat. 

" It is not a novel, and yet (here ii that oorellj in the woik to make It 
fascinating enough, even to ordinaiTRadeti. . . . Mi. Mackendedoet 
not pretend to write the history ai his counti;, and yet be has sncceeded in 
giving US some toy important facts which could not be found in any wodc 
laying claim to tliat tiOe."^^74riiWirji Unitn. 

" This ii an extremely interesting book. . . . Mr. Macketlde, Kying 
in the present as well as in the post, carries on his thrilling nairatite down 
to the oppression of the Skye Crofters of to-day, and bis statement all 
through, Erom first to Ust, is nothing less than a ghastly iccord of landlord 
rapacity and tenant suBering. . . . The details of Iha Sutherland 
Clearances are barrowing, and they read like a description of the perfcr- 
mances of our own crowbar brigade in the bmine period. The ruthless 
violation of rights, the oppression, the barbarous heartlessness, the tyranny, 
the legalised wrong-doing, the misery, and the wrelcbedness were the same 
in both countries. The landlord greed was the same in both, and the 
odious cant about cootracts . and God's mysterious dispensations were the 
same also." — Fretman's yoiimal. 

"Mr. Mackeniie's ' Hisloiy of the Highland Clearances,' In some 
respects, tells even a more terrible tale than do the records of Irish eviction, 
aod hi all respects goes to prove that landlordism is as deteslalde an institu- 
tion in Scotland as in Ireland." — Tlu NalieH. 

Recmtly Puilished, in Paper Covers, price One Shilling, 



(Prom 1810 to 1S18), 



Befart tkt Cauri afJiaUdarj, luld at Imotmat at tkt ^jrd 
^ April, 1S16. 

By the Hon. DAVID MONYPENNY, Lord Fltmilly. 

Tie anginal Sefort, published in 1816, has Umg dien very ran, and 
nkCH a copy turns up ii realises a very high price. Tlu present isttie it 


A> ft W. Mackemzis, " Cdttc Hogadne " Office, lavemesfc 

n„jN.«j-v Google 

Works Published by A. and W. MACKENzia g 

Only • few Cepiu remain, Price aj/ and 42/, 






Editor of " Celtic MaKaiine," 

Anthor of "The History uid Gcneidcigies of the Clan Mackamc^" 

" The Prophede* of the Bmhan Seer," 

" The Historical Tale* and Legends of the Highlands^" 

" The Highland Clearances," Slc, &e. 

Tit Wiri it ptMiikcd in Ont Vaiume of 534 faga, Dai^ Sntf, 
prmted in dear, bald, elit-faeed type, on thick iontd paper, Rexhurgk 
tlI'dHigt top gilt, uniform wilA " Tht Hiitory and Gemalogitt (f Iht 
Ci^RJbrafitMnr," and the issue is limited to 425 copies^ DemySvo, ataj/, 
~ ' ~~,, Demy 4to, at 41/ ; only a small number of which now remain 



"This is, beyond all question, Mr, Mackenrie's chtf-feemire—m 
crery sense the completest and best clan histoir that has ever been 
written. If Mr. Mackenzie, instead of the great deal that he has other- 
wise done for Celtic literature and the elucidation of folk-lore, had done 
no more than give us this history of one of the best and brAvest of High- 
land dans, he wonld, by this work alone, have richly merited the grati- 
tude and goodwill of every gcnerom and, gcnmne Celt at home and 
■broad. If the reader has not already supplied himself with a copy of 
diis work, we wonld take leave to hint that his library, whatever dse it 
Kay contain, is to t)e considered very laijely incomplete until he has 
added to it Mackenzie's 'History of the Macdonalds and Lords' of the 
laics'." — " Ndhtr-L^haber" in Iht Jnvemai Courier. 

" The anthor deserves credit for the industry and research which he 
has employed in tradng the respective pedigrees of the three great High' 
land families of Sleat, Glengarry, and Clanranald, from 'the Royal 
Somerled ' of the twelfth centory down to the present day. If there i> 
■ good deal of disputable matter in hi* PBges there b also much stdid 
smd interesting iniormation. , . . The vroik it one which no fiitiutt 
historian of Celtic Scotland will be in a poution to overlook." — St^ 

' " Show* deep fcMan^ baa family annal*." — Glasgen Ntat, ' 


10 Works Pubushed by A. and W, Mackbmzih. 

" AltboD^ it hu iUTolved enormoDS woric. U b well worth all the 
' '"' '■ ir Rnd his patrons. The histoiy 

. __ moat searchioglji, and acolleo- 

tian of moat Talnable Infonnatioa hu been obtained, and has been pre* 
tmted u attnctivcl;, we daie say, as cculd be possible under tht 
drclimituicei. All the dan are under a debt of obligatioa to Hr. 
Mackenzie for his painstaking and skilful work. The book ii got np in 
a mbstaatial vaA hindsome style." — Daiiy Resiaa. 

' ' ' The Hiltoiy of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles ' is a per* 
feet example of what a eeaealogical work should be. . . . The 
labonr involved in preparing Bach a work can only be adequately appre- 
daled by those who have been engaged in similar pursuits ; yet thoi^h 
we have tested the genealogies given by Mr, Mackeniie rather sevemy 
we have found them invariably correct. His discrimination in bringing 
his vast stores of knowledge to bear upon his subject has enabled him to 
make his work authoritative. Those acquainted with his literary style 
know that he has the rare art of making dry topics interesting and 
cloudy points luminous ; and the many thrlUiug and pathetic anecdote* 
of bis heroes which he weaves into the history serve to transform what 
would otherwise be a musty genealogy into an enlrandng ' tale of the 
day* of other yean '. From Somerled, the celebrated Thane of Argyll, 
he traces the descent of the family of Macdonald in all its braochei to 
the present date. His work is certain to become the foundation irf all 
fature writings upon this subject" — DuruUt Aducrtair. 

"A monument of laborious investigation. . * . The three diitf 
bouses of the clan — Sleat, Glengarry, and Clanranald — with their cadet 
o&hoots, will find their respective pedigrees and histories given in A 
fbller and fairer manner in this book than in any other single work. 
. . , It is a valuable contribution to the rapidly accumulating of 
Gaelic history vnitten in English," — Nerihtm Chreaiele. 

' ' Gives evidence of a great deal of care and research, the bert 
anthorit; in existence on the subject. It is highly interesting, matt 
carefiilly written, ezhauitive, and the best that was ever written."— 
Mirtitm Stuign. 

" Not less painstaking accurate, and exhaustive than its pradecesior. 
. . . The History at tBe Macdonalds, like its predecessor, is char- 
acterised by a painstliking fullness and Inddity of statement that l^v« 
nothing to DC desired. Sir, Mackenzie seems to have overlooked no 
source <d information ; and be know* bow to use the abundant materials 
which bis painstaking industry has accumulated. " — Granixi Tdtgr^A, 
' ' Those who have foUowed this history must have been stmck by the 
careful research and literaiy ability displayed by the antbor, and when 
completed it will take it* iHaoe among the standard works relating to 
the History of the Hi^hlnnds, . . . The patjent historical leseaidi 
and literary ability which has previotisly chaiactccised it is agtun mb- 

r' moni, a list of^the authorities qnoted showing tlie enonnoas amoont 
labonr which must have been .bcftowed npon it* com[nl«tiaa.'' — 
JmvtrgBrdan Tima. .-• 

"Hr, Mackende has afaesdy shown that he is wdl able to gra^l* 
with tbe papledng details of Clan bistcsy, and in the work bdlim « 

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Works Published by A. and W. Mackbhzik f. 

be presents th« molts of his invetEigitions in a wsy that ii so fiill, clar, 
Biid interesting, that tbe book at once takes its position as the leading 
aDtfaority on tlie subject. . . . . It is a work wbich must have 
oott enonnouB labour, but Mi. Mackenzie seema to have entered upon 
liis task with true Celtic enthusiasm, and be has Bccomplished it in B 
■way that wilt add considerably lo his leputation as a wnter of Clan 
Histories. "—ArCij*<re Cenitilulioiial. 

"The work is most creditable, and the Large Paper Edition an 
antaxaeaV—CharlaFraier-Matiinloih, F.S.A., Scot., M.F. 

Rsently PuUiihed. price 7/6, Issue limUed in 150 Copies, 




Editor of tbe "Celtic Magazine," Author of "The Histoty and Genea- 
logiea of the Clan MaelEeazje," " The History of the Maedonalds and Lords 
of the Isles," "Tbe Prophecies of the Braban Seer," "The Historical Tales 
and Legend* of tbe Highlands," "The Highland ClearBnces," etc, etc. 

Steently FtMshed, price 7/6, Jssue limitai ta 1 50 Cofiiet, 




Editor of Ilu "Cdtio Magadne,'* Author of "Tlie History andOene*- 

logtesoftbe Can MackemJe,' " The History of the Macdonalds and Loid« 

of (be Isles," "ThePiophedeicf the BnlianSeer,* " The Hiiloiiol T*1m 

udL^g^dj of the Highlands," ''Tlie Hl^itand Qearaoces," et(x> etc 


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By ths SAUK Adtrok. 

OrJertto detititiB 


SECOND EDITION. NOW SEADV, Pric4 3u6d.i fy Peit. 3$. pd., 



BtAlzxandek Mackenzie, F.SA., Scot., "E^tot at Ctltit Atag<a, 


A. & W. MACKENZIE, CelHc Magazine Office, Invksmess ; 
m THROUGH jure B 

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Works Published by A. and W. Mackenzie. i3 

"The first complete and aulhentJc actount ot Flora MacdonaM's life, a-rf 
btf EaeDiorable achlevemeal in coalriving the escape ot Charles Edward, that 
baa yet been writlen. . . . Tbe narralive is written Id a Angularly ^mple 

._J „.__...;. .1. „_J ...J_......J... ( ,..-u. ...;. ;-_ .J Ujg 

" Tbe book ii one of great value, occupying a anlque place as the only 
Mtdioijtive life of a woman whose heroic conduct has won universe admiratioa. 
. . . Alimited number has been thrown off iu a superior style of paper and 
Unding, with the &ne bread maigin which readers prefer who are in tne habil 
of makiiig annotations. ... No wdl-fumished library can afford to di^ 
peme with it" — Itttitrmea CmirUr, 

e met with in the most 

""nie adfenluret of Flora Macdonald . . . have never been recounted 
irithaoohandnuteiBgardfortruCh as bythe present writer."— Oiaa Ttltgrapk, 

" No better contiftmtian to the hlstorr of tbe stirring times of the middle of 
Ian oeotoiy than an authenticated account of Flora, and her share in Che events 
of her time, could bardljr, at ibis dme of day, be given to the world. . . . 
Hm adventmcs are most graphically given. . . . The interest is sustained 
thron^out, and the whole narrative is in ' interest and sensatioc ' more like a 
masterpiece of ficlloit than the relation of real events in a lonely comer of the 
Highlands. . . . It is a volume unexcelled in interest, of considerable 
lIleiBiy eicelleace, and invaluable to all who desirale a correct knowledge of 
thdr country's hiscorlcal characters." — Brechin Advirtisir, 

." The vay noblest romance in all oui history is-the stoiy of Flora Mac- 
donald— Bilr. Macgiegor's life of tier smacks of the Highland hills, and there is 
A toudi of Highlit music in it as from some old time hatpischord that few 
can taay.*— CrwBMK* Advirtiscr. 

"A pleMUitlT written and most interesting volume, the a^i really 

■ntheatic and trustworthy History of Flora Macdonald i 

. . . Stripped of every shred-of- sensational fiction, and yet more 

intmstmg to me thoughtful reader, and even more ^nuinely romantic 

w a simple narrative of well-authenticated facts, than if presented to our 

attention with all the embellistmients of ballad poetry and romance." — 


"FM of vitality and tealiwn.'—A'artAo-B Ckrvnicli. 

" "Die simple and unaflceted stvle of the QBnutive lends an additional <AanQ 
to H. Unfortunately the anlhor did not survive lo see his work through the 
ntesi, and the appreciative memoir of his life prefixed to it by his fnend, Mr. 
A. Mackende of the Celtic Magatint, forms a graceful tribute to his momoiy," 
— 'Daitdtt Advtriiilr. 

"The only complete aulhenlie account of our distinguished oountiy-woman 
that has yet been published, . , . Told with all the warmth of an enthusi- 
Mtic admirer, and the grace of an accompUshed ytAtsi'—Ptrt/uhiri Cmiiitu- 

Fmr COFIBS were printed on large paper, crown quarto, fine thick qoalilf, 
gMrf* bandioma margin, of which only a very few copies now remain. 
FHoBOftblsqiedal edition, 73. 6d.i by Post, 8s. 

14 Works Pobushkd by A. and W. Uackxnzik. 

Third Edilio*, uniform ail/t " Flora MacdataU attdPriiut CkarUt," 
- Price ax, ftd., by Po« ar, grf,, 


(Oolnnanch Odhu- FIohIcIh), 
B; AI.EXANDER Mackenzie, F.S.A., Scot., Editor of llie CiiHc 
Afagtaiiu, &c, &c 
Wtb an Appendix of 66 pges. on " Kigtaland Snpeistitioii, Second Sghl, 
Fairies, Hallowe'en. Elniidism, U^lcbcisft, Sacred WeOi and Loclu, &c., 
ftc," by the Rev. Albxakdes Maccbegos, M.A.. iattxaca. 



"May be safely commended to the bven of Qhs marrelloia u a 
tweet morsel" — SeeUnuii. 

" Welcome with avidity thii trochim. " — Edinbtirgk Cmtrani, 

" Remarluble prophecies. ... A cnrion* and readable book." 
—Glosgam Htrald. 

" A weird prediction foiMelling the dowubQ of the Seafinthi."— ~ 
Chamber]' I Jeurnai. 

" A clump of wonders. " — Dunda Aivertistr. 

•' Most wonderful fiilfilmeiiL "^PafUs Fritni. 

" Very singular and interesting. " — Nerthern Emign. 

" Remukable utterances — exact fiilfilment — hard nuts to omclc." — 
Grtmaci T^tgraph. 

" If you wish to know «U about the stoiy of Seaforth, which is told 
with a terrible realism, get this book." — Pk^i Jmtmal, 

"It is certain that such a prediction was prevalent before Its (alfit> 
aent • > the coincidence was remarkable. " — Ittatmat Ctmritr. 

FIPTV COPIES art primUi em Larp Pi^, Cnrnn Quarb, fint 
thick quality, giving a kandiBme margin, un^rm viilk lie Larp Pa^ 
tdititme/" The Life ff Flitra Macdenald". 

Price 7/6 ; by Poit, 8/. 

PDBLisRnts I A. & W. MACKENZIE, iHvnmn, 

■vGoogle ' 

Wducs fpwiiWHUn By A. and W. Mackenzie, ij 

'-'The Scottish Highlander; 




WK luwe for some time been strongl]' urged, from [nfluential quarten at 
home and abroad, to take Che necessary steps for starting an Independent 
Weekly Newspapra- in Inverness, for Ibe ^wdal pnipose of adiocatlng the 
dainu and promoliiiK tbs inlereals of the Highland people. 

It has lieen suggested that the present time is specially opportune lor a 
movement in this direction ; and that our Mr. Alexander Mackeniie's special 
knowledge of his countrymen, [heir history, and wants in the present crisis, 
paints to bim as the most suitable to conduct such a paper. 

Veiy liberal support has now been offered, and as nothing was wanting 
to induce us and Mr. Mackenzie to move in the matter, but a certainty that 
the paper should be widely and energetically supported by Highlanders, 
and by their numerous friends at home and abroad, we have reiiolved to 
icait Ibe paper ; tor which suitable offices have been spedally erected in 
High Street, Inverness. 

All who feel interested in the portion and prospects of the Highland 
people ; and who care for the Language, Literature, Traditions, and the 
Diaterial interests of a noble but ill-used race, will, il is hoped, aid us in 
making the paper a complete success. 

It IS believed that the manner in which the CetHc Magatitu baa been 
conducted to such a successfid issue, will be accepted as a siimcieni guarantee 
that the same prudence, firmness, and energy which secured that success 
will be applied. With even greater results, to the conduct of a Highland 

The friends of the Highland people are satisfied— since the Report of 
the Royal Commission has been issued and fully considered — that the real 
work of those who demand and will insist upon a change in the present 
Land Laws is only beginning in earaest. This points strongly to the 
neoestity of Highlanders having a spedal and powerful organ of their own 
to advance their claims, not merely in the Highlands but in influential 
quarters in the South and abroad. 

A Gaelic Department will form a feature of the paper ; and special 
attention will be given to District News from every Strath, Glen, and 
Hamlet, where Highlanders are to be found. 

The paper wW consist of Sixteen Pages Iblio. and will be issued EVESZ 
Fbidat Aftkhnoon, at One Penny, 

Orders for the paper should be forwarded to 


C4IIU Mt^tmit* Office, High Sueet, Inverness. 


i6 Works Published bv A. ahd W. Mj^cKBHa& 
In the Press — Price js. 6d. By Post, js. fid, 

"Inverness before Railways." 



This work win consist of Four Chaplcis. The Snt wfll be Jargdj fatei^ 

spersed wilh interesting anecdotea, illustrative of Oid iDvenwss Mannen 
and Customs, and the changes wliich have taken place during the last half 
centuiy. The Second Chapter deals with the Buildings and Walks of 
Inverness in the Olden lline ; their Histoiy and Associations ; the next 
pcesents Pen-and-ink Representations of Oid layerness " Cbatacters," and 
embraces such well-known names as, the late Laird of Dalmigavie and his 
sisler, Mrs. Fyvie, Miss Cwynnc (Fort- Augustus) ; Phinnjr Mackintosh, 
Miss Annie and Miss Peggie Grant (Kilmonivaig) ; '' Dandj Charlie," Ibe 
Laird of Inshes, Gordon Cumming', Captain Finch, and many others. The 
concluding Chapter will also awaken very interesting memories, dealing as 
it does with ''The Wanderers of Old Inverness," of whom there were not a 
' few well-kDown to local fame. Among the number pourtrayed are Nanny 
Do Dolan, Walter Sim, and Walter Leiy. Altogether, the work must 
prove highly interesting to readers in general, and very specially so to tMd 
Invemessians, who can recall the days when these social fossils hved and 
mo»ed, as well as to the present generation of tnveraessianSi who will read 
wilh warm hiierest aboat the scenes, and men, and rnanners, of the town 
before the advent of Railways to the Northern CapitaL 





Works Published by A. and W. Mackenzie. 17 

CrpDH Jbr>, Clsth,titfagtt,sa. BjiPert.S'- <U1 



This book is admitted by all the authorities to be by far the best book ever 
wriilen on the Highlands. 

Profeasoi Blackie says that ' ' its excellence sbioea forth on evety page " ; 
while Ibal true patriot and noblci-Bpirited Highlander, 

Mr. John Mackay, CE., Hereford, refers to it in the following tennl ; — 
" Without any doubt, Stewart's Sketches is one of the beat, if not the very 
best, on the subject. It has formed the groundwork for all the subsequent 
publications on the Highlands and Highland Clans. It ought lo be in the 
hands of every Highland lad ; on the book-shelf of eve^y Highland home, 
next to the Hble. It is iovaluable to eve:y one who 'desires to know all 
about the heroic past of the Highland people. The author, bom amongst 
the hills of Perthshire, was reared amidst the people he loved so well, 
respected so much, before they became contaminated with Sajion ideas and 
maimer?, before chiefs divorced themselves from their retainers, before 
sheep became the golden image to be worshipped, before the lust for gold 
look the place of love for the people, and respect and affection for the 

fallant defender? of their country in danger ; when willing hands and brave 
earts, like himself, were pouring out, year after year, from every hill and 

conquer or die for it on every battlefield from Fontenoy lo Waterloo. This 
was Ibe heroic era of the Highlands aod Higblaaders. Well did they 
deserve of their country and cUefs. General Stewart sets all this forth in 
his Sketches, in his own kindly language. Fortunate it was for the High- 
landers lo find in their midst such a tuslorian of their prowess and heroic 
conduct as the gallant General, whose pen was as ready to do them justice, 
and to record their valour, as his sword was keen lo lead them inlo battle. 
.... Stewart's Sketches ough! to be found in every library, in the 
hall or in the cottage. Every Highland lad should have the book in hb 
hands as soon as he is able to read." 




1 9 Works Published by A. and W. Mackenzie 

^ii Siilli ««iSii5i 

(Establish SD in 1875), 


Ana devoted to the Literature, Hisloiy, Antiquities, Folk-Lore, TradlBons, 

aod the Moral aiid Material interests of the Celts at Home and Abroad, 

Condncted bj ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, F.S.A. Scot, 

HiuhanagaiK ENLARGED andi^lurwiitmialiiKtprsBtiL lliiitrwfrimUd 
OH Tkki Paftr, m a aao/aiml ^cliar and held 0ld-/a4ld Tjtfl. 

PRIOEInAdvance— Single Numbered. I Price Per Annum W 

Priacipal Sfaajrp ; Professor Blackie ; His Grace the Duke oF A^yD ; Rev. 
Alexander Stewart, F.S.A. Scot., " Nelher-Lochaber; " Charies Fraset- 
Maekincosh, M.P., F.S.A. Scot. : Res. Thomas Maclauchlan, LL.D., 
F.S.A. Scot. ; late Rev. Alexander Macgregor, M.A, ; late Archibald 
Faiquharson, Tiree; late Rev. George Gilfillan ; late Dr., Buchan ; late 

tohn Cameron Macphee, President, Gaelic Society of London ; late D. C, 
lacpherson, Advoi^les' Ubraty ; late Alexander Fraser, Registrar ; Rev. 
P. HalelTWaddell, LL.D. ; Patrick Macgregor, M.A., Author of "The 
Genuine Remains of Ossian": Hector Maclean, Islay: Nigel Macneil ; H. 
Gaidoi, Editor Reimi Cilliqui. Paris; Rev. John Macpherson, Lairg; 
William JoUt, Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools ; William Allan ; Mary 
Mackellar ; Evan MaoColl ; Charles Mackay, LL.D. ; D. Macgregor Crerar, 
New York; Ndl Macleod; Rev. And. D. Mackeniie, M.A.. Kibnoiack ; 
Lachlan Macbean ; WiUiam Mackenzie, Secretary of the Gaelic Society of 
Inverness ; Rev. Tohn Darroch, M.A. ; James Barron, F.S.A. Scot., Editor 
aiMxInvemeitCoKriir; Rev. A. C.Sutherland, B.D. ; Rev. John Dewar, 
aD., Kilmartin; John Mackay, C.E. ; Rev. Alex. Cameron, Brodick; 
Lachlan MacdonaM of Skeabost ; John Mackeniie, M.D., ex-Provost of 
Inverness; K. Macdonald, F.S.A. Scot., Town-Cleric of Inverness; H. C. 
Macandrew, F.S.A Scot. ; Charles Innes, Chairman of Inverness School 
Board ; Thomas Sirallon, M.D., R.N. ; Alex. Mackay, Edinburgh ; Wm. 
Bcockie, Sunderland ; J. S. Tenam, M.A., Oxon. ; late James i&cknigbt, 
W.S. ; Rev. Allan Sinclair, M.A. ; Rev, John Sinclair, B.D. ; Angus Mao- 
"ihail ; A, C. Cameron, M A, ; Alex. Mackintosh Shaw, '-'' ' ■"" - 


Angel,'" &s. ; George Cupptes ; "M, A. Rose;" Rev. Archibald Mac- 
donald : Major James D. Mackenzie of Findon ; Colin Chisholm, ei- 
Presidentof the GaeUc Society of London; Major-General A. Stewart Allan, 
F.&A. Scot ; Captain Colin Mackensie, F.&A. Scot. ; Donald Macleod, 
M.A ; Rev. A. Maclean Sinclair, Nova Scotia; Farquhar Macdonald, the 
Poet; Donald Ross. Nova Scotia; George Miller Sutherland, F.S.A. Scot; 
late Angus Macdonald, the Gaelic Bard ; Rev. Archibald Qerk, LL,D. ; 
Rev. Donakl Masson, M.A., M.D. ; Mary T. MacColl ; John Campbell, 
Ledaig ; W. A. Sim ; Alex. Logan ; Charles Ferguson ; Riev. A. Macgregor 
Rose, and many others. 

Thi Magatini is couducttd entirely apart from Politics in CAurtA and StaU, 
ititltrj OMd Gtmiaiagy of Uigkiand Familitt art iiading ftattu-a, [OVEB. 

Works Published by A, and W. Mackenzie, jg 

This magarine. having a spedfic character, and illusirating the hirtotj 
anil (radilions of the Highlands, occupies a place which no other magaano 
can supply. The Editor may be congratulated on the success it has 
attained. Jx has already made foi itself a position in periodical lileiaturo. 
— lavemtst Cimritr. 

The continued supply of piquant and atlraetive papers proves that In 
Gaelic legendary and historical lore there is a valuable vein which will repay 
the working, and which augurs well for the future volumes of this well-edited 
and speciaUy hiteresting periodical.— C/i^^no Herald. 

Abty conducted by Alexander Mackenzie, F.S.A., an enthusiastic High- 
lander, who thoroughly understands the traditions, halnts, and desires of 
the Celtic people. It appeals to all who take an interest in matters litetaiy, 
scientific, or social, pertaining to Che North. That il has taken bold of the 
public mind a evident. The letterpress is of a high character . , . . 
The wiiting is altc^ether vigorous and sensible, and bespeaks even a 

le Magaiine. — Duniet Advii 

We cut and read the pages of this, the enlarged series, with a. feeling of 
admiratbn for the enterprise of the Editor, mingled with doubt as to the 
wisdom of giving such a quantity of excellent matter on paper of the best 
quality and type of the ' ' aged portion " fount for the low price of this 
Magoane. The Ciilii: is fast becoming a national periodical, and the 
present number should tend to double its constituency. It is the best wo 
have lead, and that is saying a good deaL — O&art Times, 

The contents are rich both as to variety of subject and quality. Its 
MicceU has transcended the most hopeful expectations of its most sanguine 
friends .... Mr. Mackenzie, the laborious Editor, exhibits tact and 
industry ot a high order in the production of a work which, to the uninitiated 
Lowlander, might seem to have a hmited basis ; but perusal will convince 
the reader thai Gaelic literature is not by any means so restricted in its 
range as might ignoranlly be supposed. — Greenock Teligmph, 

journal of Scotland 

speaking people, and to those who do not speak 

that language, it possesses attractions of a high order. Being greatly en- 
larged and otherwise improved, the journal should receive a great " 

of popularity. — Creauxh Advtrlistr. 

St strength and vigorous efficiency.— Zj'nimrii 

i The Editor seems determined, if possible, to improve the contents of his 
publication. We are far from saying that they were in need of being iot- 
provcd. . . . Il is full of splendid articles. — liroergordon Timtl, 

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20 Works Pubushkd by A. and W. litACKENziB. 

Id a flourishing state both at home and in tbe colonies.-— Ariiiitir* 


As usual the contents are valuable and interesting, not only to those 
guage, literature, a " 
ad^ ... la 
h the appreciation i 

" This popular and ably-conducted Magazine appears in a form COD- 
^de'rably ealari^ed and improved. . . . warranleil from the continued 
success which has attended it Trom tbe first — a success which must lie hiahly 
gratifying to all Hij^hUnders and lovers of Celtic literature. The subjects 
4re tr^ted in a manner which entitles the CtUic to be ranked among tbe 
leading Magaunes of tbe day." — Rethtiay Eipna. 

" A very able monthly periodical. Peculiarly interesting; and instnictivt 
There is a conticued supply of piquant and attractive papers." — Coliraiiu 

something of pleasure, profit, o 

"In affordinj!; a means of interchan;^ of opinion among students o( 
phi!oiozy and admirers of Celtic literature, the Maganne is doing a good 
vrorlc, deserving of all the success It has attained. All the articles are welt 
wntlen." — Naocaslii Chrotiicli, 

" Its general eicellency has exceeded our expectations.'— flafanwu. 

We have ancere pleasure in commending this able, interesting, and 
~ "' e Magazine to all who take an interest in the literature and 
of the Gael"— 0*fl« Tiligrafh. 

" We are glad to Bee this well-edited Magaiine conducted with all tha 
vigour and freshness which characterised it from the beiinning. The Editor 
displays great care and judiment in the selection and arrangement of bis 

d a Tciy large circnbtion."—/*- 



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